Out of school children benefit from the UNICEF supported initiative to reintegrate them into the mainstream education
Tbilisi, 9 February, 2022 – Around 200 children, including out-of-school children and those at risk of school dropout improved their literacy and numeracy skills and some returned to school as a result of the two-year partnership initiative aimed at inclusion of the most vulnerable out-of-school children into the mainstream education in Georgia. The initiative is implemented by UNICEF Georgia in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science and with the financial support from the The Bulgarian Development Aid.
A meeting was organized today with participation of Ms Lali Kalandadze, the Head of the General Education Management and Development Department of the Ministry of Education and Science, Mr Iliya Nachev, Chargé d’affaires ad interim Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tbilisi and Dr. Ghassan Khalil, UNICEF Representative in Georgia to discuss the key project achievements, analyze lessons learned and outline further steps to support inclusive and second chance education in Georgia.
UNICEF supports the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia in developing a systematic approach to addressing the challenges faced by out of school children and children at risk dropping-out of school. The Ministry in partnership with UNICEF, has introduced a model that allows for educational catch-up and second chance education.
Under the scope of this partnership, an adapted, two level catch-up and accelerated learning curriculum was developed with the support of national and international experts and in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science. The adapted curriculum fully complies with the third generation National Curriculum and is tailored to the educational needs of out-of-school children as well as the students at risk of drop-out.
The curriculum has been piloted in 39 model schools and six day-care centres, with 189 schoolteachers, 25 special teachers, and 82 coaches trained and involved in piloting of the curriculum.
“Every child has the right to quality education and this program is all about making sure that all children in Georgia are given every opportunity to receive the education they need and are entitled to,” said UNICEF Representative Ghassan Khalil.
“It is critically important to ensure that all schools are equipped with necessary knowledge and skills, as well as special programs to support out-of-school children to re-enter the mainstream education system. UNICEF is grateful to the Government of Bulgaria for their support and partnership and we continue a strong collaboration with the Ministry of Education to provide quality education for every child in Georgia“, added Khalil
“Supporting the educational system of Georgia, as well as placing a focus on children’s needs and the challenges of children from the most socially vulnerable groups are among the priorities of the official Bulgarian Development Aid Program”, said Mr Iliya Nachev, Chargé d’affaires ad interim Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Tbilisi. “The implementation of this project together with UNICEF Georgia and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia proved as a successful tool for addressing the challenges that Georgian children in risk of dropping-out of school face through the creation of inclusive educational and catch-up methodologies that provide them with a second chance in education. The Republic of Bulgaria will continue to support this meaningful project in its second phase that is planned to commence in 2022.”
Within the framework of the project, UNICEF promoted the integration of the adapted curriculum and inclusive education innovations into the syllabi of various subject areas of teacher pre-education programmes in nine State partner universities. This initiative will contribute to the preparation of qualified teachers who will have a solid understanding of the nature and importance of inclusive education and ensure effective teaching processes for out-of-school children.
In Georgia, there are many children, especially from the most socially and economically marginalized groups, who do not have access to compulsory education. The children who are either dropouts or at high risk of not being in school include children with disabilities, children living and working on the streets, children from ethnic minority groups, children in public care, orphans, IDPs, stateless children, refugees, and children from very remote areas.
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/