-You discuss a lot about Mongolian education system and education level of Mongolians. To realize your ideas about education, we might need systematic and ordered changes. Do you have a plan?
European education system was imported to us through Soviet Union. When man was creating education first, his objective was to create a civil man who talks by scientific knowledge, respects others and who is disciplined, ordered, self-behaved, independent and feels shame.
Based on this vision, our education sector was created. We directly imported it during socialism in our country. Following western education, our language changed a lot. New Mongolian words are formed. Cyrillic script had strong impact. Today we blended into Cyrillic without any possibility to going back to “Uigarjin” script as official script, because contemporary Mongolian language developed a lot through Cyrillic script.
If we start using “Uigarjin” script back again, it is same as going back to ancient time. It is same as changing computer with typewriter. Luvsanjav.Choi tried to transform us back to “Uigarjin” but he failed. If it happened by force, it would have caused the same harm as crime. We changed to Cyrillic script because young people escaped from Uigarjin script. It is a recent history.
We tried a lot to become a social country which has independent civilians who supports each other, who has works to do, who pays their apartment, food and clothing bill by their salary, whose kids have kindergartens and schools to go. While doing this, we understood a lot but at the same time misunderstood many things. During socialism, children were pressured to do well at school. Now in democracy, this nonsense pressure is intensified and there are many children with medals from Olympiad.
What is even sadder is, there are young people from countryside to get university rhomb. Their parents pay their tuition by selling their few ships just to get rhomb. Then their children graduate and come into life without learning anything from university. Every year, hundreds of young people celebrate their graduation on “Sukhbaatar” Square with rhomb on them.
They must be counted as intellectuals, but they are graduating without reaching nowhere near intellectual level. Because many of their professors are not intellectuals at all. They became professor by any means. So both student and professor are uneducated. Generally speaking, graduates become somewhat professionals of some field. This isn’t education at all.
-You are a product from socialism. Products from socialism are managing this so called democratic society. Is today’s crisis and errors of education system happening because of the difference between two systems?
There was no error in education system during socialism. All of us learned education imported from abroad and this was universal knowledge and education to us, therefore there was no error there. Our mistake was that we did not understand what we were learning while importing European education to Mongolians. Intellectuals of socialism are the first intellectuals.
We mistranslated some words due to resource of Mongolian language while importing enormous knowledge of humanity. Our language isn’t in scientific level. Our Uigarjin script and vocabularies from old times and were limited by “sheep”, “herding”, rather we didn’t use scientific and philosophical words. Therefore some words were mistranslated. On the other side, many of the first intellectuals were kids from monastery. That’s why they got used to translating by correlating to their own content and life environment. They tried really hard for knowledge and education, but they translated social science words through religious words.
Democrats didn’t have anyone who could be deemed as someone with global education and scientific knowledge.
-Then how can we correct it?
-Biggest mistake is understanding education system we had during socialism as socialism itself. We did not understand previous education program was education and science of humanity. People saw it hassle to teach math, literature or thought like “are we obliged to learn chemistry, biology, and math.” There wasn’t anyone among democrats who could say that it was universal education and science. All they did was encouraging that there is something better than socialism and pushing all Mongolians from cliff. Today, they couldn’t prove that they found educational program, content and system better than socialism and or in that matter, did not show us anything advanced.
Some Eastern European countries probably established socialism. At least a lot closer to socialism. We did not. We could read Marx just after leaving our yurt in the countryside. It will be embarrassing. We don’t have the ability and capacity to build socialism. We cannot build democracy, too. It isn’t something easily built. Democracy is generally speaking relationship between people. It requires certain amount of time and liberty. Correction, improvisation and constant self-development is needed. We don’t have the morality to do so.
We met democracy by going through socialism. Few stupid people came out in the square and shouted democracy and failed us. Recently and suddenly everyone became aware of it and asking each other “What to do now?” When socialism stopped, Eastern European countries go back to European culture. We don’t have history other than socialism with the help of others. Therefore, we go back to “Gandan” and tying a tree with “khadag”, chanting, reading religious book, asking our fate is our only option. A Mongolian man doesn’t blame himself when he is sick, rather he goes to a monk to asks why he is sick. So we fall back to the period before socialism.
-I remember it was recently that we positively received a pleasant young philosopher named Molor-Erdene.S who graduated, lived and worked in Germany. Later you are intensely criticize and called on yourself the negative attitude of people viewing you as angry and conflicted man. Or maybe you changed your attitude about Mongolian society. Was it hard for you to socialize here?
I don’t have the necessity to socialize. I don’t have that anger. It is just unfortunate to degrade ourselves after the good education from socialism. It was my voice of regret and pain reminding why we cannot use that?
There is a movie from socialism called “Khani”. An architect marries a woman called Suvdaa and modern life happens. It is a movie from 40 years ago, but it smells of modern life. Same goes to the movie “My father in Ulaanbaatar”. Socialism had the complete psychological plan to have creative society and mature human being.
We had hospitals, schools, buildings and heating. Many civilians went to Europe. Where are they? Where are those who educated and studied during socialism? Therefore I wrote my book “Modernity is missed in Mongolia”
-You are a philosopher. You probably studied western social system and features since you were a student. At which step, does a society get in crisis like Mongolian society is having now? How can we awaken?
-Ours is crisis of value. It is due to ignoring the social construction and maturation from socialism. It is due to throwing it away. I write about it each and every book of mine. We lost our values. We are valuing what we shouldn’t and destroyed values which save humanity and society. We are making that time look bad.
Then our role models are monastery, church, bosses and riches. Most talentless is receiving prize in art. Most talentless and futureless people are receiving prizes, so people who should have become the value and role model are disappearing. Young people have misunderstanding that by doing bad, one can receive “Turiin Soyorhol” prize, when in fact it should be a prize hard to have. Only by being the best, you can have it.
Well, if we are starting to admit this is crises, then we give it a name. After through listing questions about how to overcome this crises, how to correct and improve it, whether it is possible or not, then we will define solutions right. Or we must start completely new things to change our society fundamentally. If we talk about philosophically, we must discuss about morality.
-To compare it with few years ago, people starting to realize we lost some good values?
-If I give my own thought and opinion on this, I will be talking as politician or statesman. However, as a philosopher I will talk about morality. Philosophers are people who find the cause. We see exactly what is happening, define it and say what to do further. I wrote ideas about it in my books. I don’t want to just chat in a simple interview. I wrote the main things in my book “Contract of Mongolia”.
-Let me ask again about education system. In a country with population of three millions, there are hundreds of universities. Graduates do not have jobs. Few usually work in state organizations. Remained become unemployed. What to do with these universities?
-Our teachers are criminals. They cannot give education to anyone. They didn’t reach that level. Knowledge must be the measurement of university teachers and professors. Not superstition. In our country, worst are becoming teacher, president, prime minister and Member of Parliament. Losers of the society are up there. Someone with no understanding about education is becoming minister of education.
During socialist times, factories were introduced to children as an excursion. Democratic party destroyed system of creation of society. Japanese teachers go with their class students to introduce a history and meaning of a building. We don’t have it. Parents take their children in a car and stuck in traffic. We fell into such a cheap and coward society.
I want to tell university professors and ministers please admit that although they have a diploma, they didn’t read one global intellectual work. Ministers, professors, member of parliaments have read nothing and they are not admitting that they don’t have any knowledge at all.
They only think about their own family. I worry about them having heart attack due to greed. I tell, wealth doesn’t suit a Mongolian. A Mongolian has no necessity to get rich.
-Today decision-making politicians are divided so badly. But the people are so patient with them. I want to hear your thoughts on Mongolian people’s endurance?
We can see that what they do if they got little power from parliament members, from our own behaviors and characters. We can see that a Mongolian is good at exactly copying something. There is something animalistic here. There is something called to survive. To survive, one must escape fast, be sensitive, scare someone by pretending to be great, convince people etc.
The ability to act is included here. A bird even acts in different roles to look big. Nomads had very dangerous and harsh life. To be rapid, escaping fast, climbing mountains quick, moving away, such characters of survival exist in our blood. When nuclear power plant exploded in Japan, Mongolians were already with their bags at the airport. We are always ready to move anywhere. Wherever we go, we are always in a mode of ready to leave. Even moving into new apartment, we have a thought to move away from here one day. We don’t have the patience to settle in the same place.
-Another issue. Lately, children started caring a lot about their education. They started learning several languages. Teenagers and young people are going abroad to study. This is their dream. They started going to England and Asian countries.
-For example, China has very educated and high quality system of learning. They are making revolutions in their education system. Mongolians are not patriotic and have no mentality for Mongolia. We never had motherland. So we don’t have mentality of nation and patriotism. Young people live with empty feeling. Therefore have no thought to learn and do something back here. Even coming back here makes no sense. They will do slavery job in government. Only insane people work there. You cannot talk about something with them. They cannot hear what you say. They cannot even look at your eyes.
-What is there to have from Chinese education system?
-It is difficult; generally we need to start from the base. China is people with thousands years of history. Compared to them, we are people without history. 2000 years ago, there was village school in China. Village teacher used to teach their scripts. We don’t have that. We don’t have concept of village. A Mongolian man has no history of collecting gold and money, communicating with money, building a city and bridge. Generally, we were people who used to wait outside the fence “Let me enter, I want to give some silks to my wife”. That fence is Great Wall of China and it was built by kicking us out. And those who were kicked out used to wait outside and asked to enter inside.