China's aid boosts Mongolia's education

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China's aid boosts the development of Mongolia's national education, Mongolia's Education Minister Tsedenbal Tsogzolmaa has said.

Bilateral cooperation in the education sector increased in recent years, "China has significantly contributed to our country's efforts to end the system of three shifts in schools by giving non-refundable aid for building new schools and kindergartens," Tsogzolmaa told Xinhua in a recent interview.

According to the minister, a total of 21 schools and kindergartens will be built in Mongolia with aid from China by 2020. Currently, seven schools and one kindergarten are under construction in the Mongolian capital Ulan Bator.

The Mongolian government plans to end the system of three shifts in schools by 2020 in a bid to improve access to and quality of general education, said the minister, adding that to this end, Mongolia will have to build at least 50 new schools.

In addition, she noted that China has helped Mongolia to prepare a skilled workforce.

"China is the most popular overseas study destination for Mongolian students," she said.

"The number of Mongolian students choosing to study in China has been growing. The number of Mongolian students who receive Chinese scholarships has continued to grow year by year," she added.

Data show that since 2012, more than 2,500 Mongolian students have received Chinese government scholarships, and the number is 358 this year.

The number of students from China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region who study in Mongolia has also increased, Tsogzolmaa said.

The students from both sides serve as a bridge to promote friendship between the two peoples and two countries, she added.

The minister said Mongolia is keen on enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation with China in areas of education, science, culture and sports under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.

The initiative proposed by China in 2013 offers a huge opportunity for Mongolia and other participating countries to expand relations and cooperation with China in various fields, Tsogzolmaa said, citing infrastructure, economy, education and culture.

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and China, Tsogzolmaa said, expressing the hope that the neighboring Asian countries will take this opportunity to strengthen ties and cooperation in all areas.

"We are planning to organize a series of events," she said, "For instance, Mongolian Culture Days will be organized in the Chinese capital Beijing and in Hohhot, capital of north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. And Chinese Culture Days will be held in Mongolia next year."

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