The First International Conference brings together academia, educators, and government to discuss quality pre-school education in Georgia
BATUMI, Georgia, 2 June, 2022 – The First International Conference on Early Childhood Education and Care(ECEC), organized in Batumi on 2-3 June, aims to facilitate academic discussion and knowledge sharing on quality, access, and inclusion in early childhood education and care considering local and international practices. The conference is organized jointly by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Autonomous Republic of Adjara, UNICEF and the Batumi State University.
The two-day conference is attended by the representatives from the Parliament, central and local governments, academia, international organizations, local civil society organizations, and preschools. The conference aims to support the professional development of practitioners in the field and to raise the awareness of the wider public and policymakers about the importance of early childhood education.
At the opening of the conference, Tamar Makharashvili, Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Maia Khajishvili, Minister of Education, Culture, and Sport of Adjara AR; Members of the Parliament Eliso Bolkvadze and Giorgi Amilakhvari; Mayor of Batumi, Archil Chikovani; Rector of the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Merab Khalvashi; and UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Ghassan Khalil, welcomed the participants.
“The International Conference on Early Childhood Education and Care serves as a significant forum for professionals and policy-makers in Georgia,” said Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.
“Such opportunities are crucial to improve quality of education and care in Georgia and ultimately create better services for all children. The conference is also part of country consultations to support development of a shared vision and renew commitments to education in the lead up to the Transforming Education Summit to be held in September” - Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia.
“I believe the First International Conference on Early Education and Care will serve a platform where academia and decision-makers will exchange local and international scientific and expert knowledge, which is a prerequisite for the future development of the field,” says Maia Khajishvili, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Adjara.
“The conference brought together a wide and important range of stakeholders to discuss the challenges and prospects for preschool education. Such events strengthen us, bring us closer to international standards, connect us with local educational institutions. This conference will help our academic staff conduct research on important issues, taking into consideration the global challenges,” says Merab Khalvashi, Rector of the Batumi State University.
The Conference brings together 150 Georgian and international participants who will present 95 papers and participate in thematic panel discussions covering diverse topics on governance, financing, access, quality, and inclusion in early childhood education and care. The conference sessions provide platforms for rich discussions and include presentations by national and international specialists on topics such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; innovative and alternative approaches to early childhood education; the role of play in early childhood education; child rights in the context of early childhood education; professional competencies, pre-service training and professional development; parental engagement and support for positive parenting ; inclusive practice and early intervention; and regulations and the existing national standards.
Conference side events include workshops and presentations for preschool practitioners and managers from Adjara region and a webinar on supporting positive parenting through partnerships between preschools and families.
Early childhood education is crucial for every child as it lays the foundation for further growth and development.Failure to provide quality early childhood education limits children’s futures by denying them opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF has supported the Government and the Parliament of Georgia to develop and implement the Law on Early and Pre-School Education and Care which includes major innovations targeted to improving quality, access and equity in early childhood education and care throughout Georgia.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/georgia/