National Forum on Improvement of Pre-school Quality and Accessibility
Tbilisi, 10 March 2012. A pre-school national forum, organized by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and UNICEF, was held at the Ilia State University. The forum was attended by a Deputy Minister of the Education and Science, Rector of the Ilia State University, Representatives of UNICEF, Tbilisi and regional municipalities as well as NGOs and teachers.
The activities carried out within the framework of the pre-school reform were reviewed and new priorities and future plans identified at the forum.
The aim of the cooperation is to improve the management, accessibility and quality of the pre-school education, in particular,: to provide representatives of the local self-governance bodies and pre-school establishments with new methodological resources; to support establishment of training centres for pre-school caregivers at higher educational institutions throughout Georgia; to train the representatives of the local municipalities; to introduce a system for professional development of the pre-school teachers, and to encourage the establishment of pre-school education alternative services.
The respective academic staff has been retrained, alternative services developed and kindergarten teachers re-trained at the six partner universities (the Ilia State University, Kutaisi A. Tsereteli State University, I. Gogebashvili Telavi State University, Gori University, Akhaltsikhe State University, Batumi Sh. Rustaveli State University).
UNICEF closely collaborates with the Ministry of Education and Science with regard to other components of the pre-school reform as well. Namely, within the framework of this cooperation the standards for early learning and development as well as for physical environment of the pre-school establishments were elaborated; the pre-school education strategy and methodological resources for pre-school establishments and kindergarten caregivers were developed; inclusive education and integration of disabled children into pre-school education has been actively promoted; teaching of Georgian to ethnic minorities has been supported and 8 pilot pre-school centers have been established in 6 districts of Kvemo Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions of Georgia (Marneuli, Dmanisi, Bolnisi, Ninotsminda, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe); Alternative pre-school education centres have been opened in Samtskhe-Javakheti, Kvemo and Shida Kartli regions whereas a new learning methodology is being introduced in the existing kindergartens. The work in the above directions continues and an awareness-raising campaign on the importance of pre-school education is planned.