Real Lives, Real Stories: Mongolia

GoGo.mn

2018-03-12 10:26 GMT+8
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (Image: Flickr / didemtali)

This story is part of Real Lives, Real Stories, a series written by staff from Transparency internatonal national chapters in the Asia Pacific region. Stories about different people and different situations in different contexts, but with one common message: change is possible when citizens get involved, even when the odds seem stacked against them.

Even though Mongolia recently got taken off the EU’s tax haven black list, corruption continues to pose a significant problem in the everyday life of people living there. This can not only be seen through the country’s position on the Corruption Perceptions Index, where it scores below the regional average, but also through other surveys. Educating young people about corruption is particularly important to avoid it in the future, which is exactly what TI Mongolia is working on.

Mongolian youth are well educated and globally connected, and are the country’s first generation to grow up under a modern democratic government. A vast and proud country, known for its long winters, short summers and grassy steppes, Mongolia has undergone significant socio-economic changes in the past 25 years. As a result, young people are experiencing unique challenges in the country’s education system.

70% of primary and secondary school students widely believe that parents use bribes, connections or position to enroll their children 47% believe these are used to secure scholarships 40% of the country’s population, want to learn more about corruption and how they can get involved to stop it.

A 2017 report by The Asia Foundation that investigates transparency within Mongolia’s education sector found that 70 per cent of primary and secondary school students widely believe that parents use bribes, connections or position to enroll their children. Another 47 per cent believe these are used to secure scholarships. The findings suggest that the situation is even worse at colleges and universities.

Transparency International Mongolia has found that young people living in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia’s capital city and home to 40 per cent of the country’s population, want to learn more about corruption and how they can get involved to stop it.

Batbold, a student from one of the city’s secondary schools, embodies this need to bring about change:

“We are the successors to this corrupt era. We must learn about why things are wrong and then learn to do better than our predecessors,” he said.

Batbold’s words reflect the general feedback from TI Mongolia’s anti-corruption workshops in the country, where more than 260 young people have learned about transparency, integrity and participation.

Participants of an anti-corruption workshop in Mongolia (Picture: TI Mongolia)

These workshops are part of our regional programme, known as the Youth Movement for Transparency International Asia Pacific, which also employs a range of online and offline engagement tools.

A two-month social media campaign generated online content to boost engagement from young people. Its inspirational quotes, promotion of activities and photos engaged thousands of people, with success being measured by the number of likes, shares and comments that posts received.

An essay competition required students to answer why it is important for young people to care about corruption. Prizes were awarded for the most inspiring answers and handed out by the Monglian Parliament Vice Speaker and the British Ambassador to Mongolia. Young people were very engaged with the essay competition and eager to use the space it gave them to speak up.

Roughly 95 per cent of students who attended the workshops stated afterwards that the workshops had increased their knowledge about corruption and bribery. Thirty per cent believed that young people having their voices heard was a key way to counter corruption.

Transparency International Mongolia Project Officer Indrashidi was impressed with the workshops and campaigns, saying:

“There aren’t many specific anti-corruption programmes aimed at youth in Mongoliaour workshops and campaigns made a big impact with students and overwhelmingly young people told us that they want to be involved in countering corruption.”

GoGo Facebook Page
 
 

Go to top