The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation
Addressing the Critical Issues Facing Asia - 60 Years
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Books for Asia in Mongolia

The Asia Foundation's Books for Asia program has provided more than half a million books to Mongolian institutions since 1990. It is the only continuous English-language book donation program in the country.

Status of Education in Mongolia

Mongolia boasts literacy rates of 97.7 percent for both men and women. Despite the high literacy achieved under the formerly centrally planned system, significant poverty and increasing rural-urban disparities strain the education system. With a population of 2.9 million spread across vast terrain and few domestic publishers, Mongolia's main educational challenge is reaching remote communities. There is tremendous pressure to learn English, given the government's declaration in 2005 to make English the country's second language, but universities and other institutions are normally unable to afford ample books, newspapers, or resource materials in Mongolian, let alone English.

Current Focus

As the majority of educational institutions in far-flung communities don't have access to English-language material, Books for Asia donates new books donated by American publishers to all provinces: more than 70,000 books to nearly 400 institutions on an annual basis, including schools, universities, nongovernmental organizations, and government policy making institutions.

Read more about The Asia Foundation's work in Mongolia.

Project and Partner Highlights

Securing Our Future. Books for Asia provides science and natural resource textbook donations to schools and environmental organizations to augment The Asia Foundation's "Securing Our Future" program, designed to educate school children and their communities about the fragile ecosystems and natural resource base of Mongolia.

Resource Center for the Blind. Donations of elementary school books in Braille are provided to the School for the Visually Impaired in Ulaanbaatar, the only school of its kind in Mongolia.

In-Country Donors:
Fueling the success of the Books for Asia program in Mongolia are a core group of donors: Khan Bank, EzNis Airways, Itochu Corporation, and the Mongolian Ministry of Education.

Major publisher donors: McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lynne Rienner, W.W. Norton & Company, Island Press, and the New England Journal of Medicine.


Josh Friedman

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