Sandag Bataa was offered a job as a vocational school teacher for sanitary, heating and air conditioning systems straight after completing his engineering degree. ‘I said yes immediately, because teaching is a highly respected profession in Mongolia,’ he says. He has now been working at a school for seven years and is happy that an AIZ training course has given him an insight into building solar power plants. He has now decided to specialise in this area and pass his knowledge on to students.
What is the biggest challenge for you as a teacher?
When I first started working at the vocational college, I didn’t have the professional skills and had little experience in this field of work. There is no extensive training programme in Mongolia for vocational school teachers. Teachers are expected to acquire their skills on the job.
Which AIZ training course did you take part in?
GIZ launched the Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector project in 2013 to provide in-service training for Mongolian teachers. International experts provide support and training. In addition, some teachers undertake advanced training at inter-company training centres in Germany. As part of this project I had the opportunity to participate in various training measures in Mongolia and Germany.
What benefits did you get from the training?
The training course taught me a lot about practical ways to optimise heating systems and various control processes. We also studied heat supply systems. In methodology, we learned how to design order-based training and found out about which training approaches are used in Germany. We also gained a lot of insights into solar thermal power, the way it works and applications, as well as how to develop and manufacture a solar collector.
You say you also visited Germany as part of your training. What were the major differences for your field of work?
The training in Germany was particularly interesting, because it gave me a chance to experience differences between the German and Mongolian training systems. Some of the vocational training in Germany takes place at a company, with vocational colleges mainly responsible for the theoretical part. But in Mongolia the entire vocational education system is based at full-time vocational colleges.
Is there any one event or experience that particularly sticks in your memory?
My most memorable experience in Germany was learning how to build and manufacture a solar collector. Solar energy is the perfect energy source for a country like Mongolia, where the sun shines for more than half the year. During the practical course, we were given an opportunity to visit a company specialised in this field and gain an insight into how solar collectors are manufactured. Once I was back in Mongolia, I was able to pass on the same training to other Mongolian TVET teachers. As part of the course we worked together to build and test a prototype solar flat-plate collector. It worked well.
What has changed for you as a result of the training course?
My learning environment has completely changed since GIZ started supporting me. I have learned a lot about new technologies and techniques in my job. And with the new workshop for sanitary, heating and air conditioning systems, I can finally give good practical lessons.
Changing the learning environment has also boosted the motivation of trainees to learn and my own motivation as a teacher. For me every task and every lesson is now a matter of personal pride. The job of a sanitary, heating and air conditioning systems technician is so important in a society where more and more people are moving from yurts to houses. I am very proud of having the opportunity to train young people in this key area.
How do you see your career developing?
I’d like to learn more about solar heating in the future and become a specialist in that area. And of course I’d like to encourage, motivate and train lots of young people for this job. In ten years I see our vocational college being a key competence centre in the field of sanitation, heating and air conditioning, providing training not just for other young people from all over Mongolia, but also for the employees of private companies who can bring their knowledge and skills up to speed with the latest techniques and technology.
Vocational training in the mineral resource sector in Mongolia
The objective of the Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector project is to improve employment opportunities for Mongolian young people and adults.
It supports the Mongolian Ministry of Labour and Social Protection in the areas of TVET and careers counselling. A key role is played in this by the provision of further training for Mongolian project partners, who are jointly responsible for implementing the project. Training has so far been given to over 700 Mongolian TVET teachers, school management representatives, in-company trainers and partners from the ministries, authorities and associations. The Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ) co-designed and implemented all of the project’s international training courses and technical study trips, including detailed planning of measures, selection of trainers and award of contracts.
The Cooperative Vocational Training in the Mineral Resource Sector project is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and co-financed by the governments of Switzerland and Australia.