Tbilisi, 26 November 2019. The Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and UNICEF Georgia have launched a two-year partnership programme in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia (MoESCS) to develop a systematic approach addressing the challenges facing out-of-school children and guide concrete education sector reforms to ensure inclusion of vulnerable groups in the education system and high learning outcomes in Georgia.
The launch of the project was marked by a project site visit by H.E. Ms. Dessislava Ivanova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Bulgaria to Georgia and Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia together with the representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia to one of the pilot schools and a day centre in Tbilisi.
With the aim of sharing experience and providing technical support, the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria and UNICEF will support the MoESCS with the improvement of the quality of inclusion in general education, in particular to enable out-of-school children and adolescents to:
- Enter or re-enter and successfully integrate in the mainstream education system;
- Acquire necessary skills and quality learning outcomes that will allow them to achieve their full potential and increase their readiness for the labour market and success later in life.
Building a highly skilled, motivated, and supported teaching workforce is one of the key pillars of achieving high learning outcomes for children in schools.
More specifically, the project aims at supporting the Ministry in developing national second chance education programmes (catch-up and accelerated learning programmes) for out-of-school children and children at risk of drop-out, and to launch the implementation in 15 model schools and six day-care centres. Successful completion of this pilot project will be the foundation for a nation-wide scale up of second chance education programmes in Georgia.
Education system in Georgia has undergone many reforms during the past two decades. While reform measures have proved to be progressive, challenges remain in the area of access to quality education. All children and adolescents have the right to quality education. Yet, in Georgia, there are many children, especially from the most socially and economically marginalized groups, who are not benefitting from compulsory education. According to the national study on Child Labour in Georgia, conducted in 2016 by the National Statistic Office, almost 11,200 children aged between 5-17 (2% of total age group children) are out of school.
Currently, Georgia has only limited second chance education programmes to provide opportunities for out-of-school children and adolescents to re-enter the formal education system, enrol into catch-up compulsory education, achieve quality learning outcomes and transition from schools to the labour market. System deficiencies such as an underdeveloped teacher training system to supply teachers with skills for student-oriented teaching, a lack of qualified services from care givers in public day-care centres, a limited availability of teaching and learning resources to catch up, as well as a lack of accelerated learning programmes in the formal curricula to successfully integrate in regular schools remain to be main challenges.
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/