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Study on the Reading Habits of Parents and Young Children in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia


By Mark Koenig, Khaliun Boldbaatar, Khaliun Ganzorig, Independent Research Institute of Mongolia

Studies show that developing children’s reading skills improve their communication and comprehension skills. It also builds personality, sparks curiosity, develops concentration, and enhances socio-emotional and cognitive development. In September 2021, The Asia Foundation introduced its Let’s Read Mongolia Initiative to promote reading and improved education outcomes, with funding from the Lorinet Foundation. The initiative aims to encourage reading with young children and increase the availability of high-quality Mongolian language children’s books. The Asia Foundation worked with the Independent Research Institute of Mongolia (IRIM) to conduct a baseline study in early 2022. This survey collected data on the reading habits of parents with children aged 0-5, the accessibility and availability of books for children at home and kindergarten, and perceptions of the importance of reading books for the development of children.

The study indicates that while many Mongolian families understand the importance of reading with their children, few caregivers currently read regularly with their 0-5 aged children. Factors include misperceptions about the appropriate age to start reading with young children, the limited availability of high-quality books, limited conceptions of the purpose of reading, and simply finding the time and prioritizing. The data included in this study will be used for stakeholder discussions, activity planning, and tracking the project’s impact in the coming years.

Posted August 15, 2022
Related locations: Mongolia
Related programs: Let's Read