Kindergartens in the Middle of Nowhere
They call them “Ger Kindergarten”. Yes, they are right in the middle of nowhere and yet they are fully functional, some with as many as 20 kids in the enrollment list. The name comes from the structure used, the ger — traditional mobile tents (yurts) of the Mongolian nomads. The kindergarten is usually composed of 2 gers, one is used as the classroom / activity room, the other as the kitchen and feeding area. A short distance from the gers is a flimsy outhouse. Supported by an international donor, the kindergartens are equipped with solar panels for lighting, books, sleeping materials, and other equipment.
The concept is an ingenious one. Mongolian nomadic herder families move around a lot and, because of this, their kindergarten aged kids miss the chance to go to a formal kindergarten school. The solution: provide a kindergarten school that was mobile and used a structure that has been proven effective against the unpredictable weather in the steppe. The ger was the best answer.
Parents help determine the location of the kindergarten. It should be within a relatively accessible distance to where most herder families have built camp for the season (the average distance between households/ger camps in the steppe is 30 kilometers). Parents bring their child to the kindergarten via a car or a horse in the morning and then pick up the child late in the afternoon. In some cases, parents ask the kindergarten staff to care for their child overnight.