Partnership initiative highlights the support provided for strengthening inclusive education in Georgia
Tbilisi, Georgia, 22 September 2023 – The results of the three-year programme implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Norwegian Government Agency for Special Needs Education (Statped) and funded by the Government of Norway, were summarized today at the closing event organized at the Ministry of Education and Science.
The programme has supported children with special educational needs and disabilities, as well as teachers, professionals and parents, in creating an inclusive and equitable environment in preschool and general education institutions throughout Georgia.
The meeting was attended by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science Ms. Tamar Makharashvili, Ambassador of Norway H.E. Ms. Bergljot Hovland, Minister of Education, Culture and Sport of Adjara Ms. Maia Khajisvili and Representative of UNICEF in Georgia Mr. Jesper Moller, and Project Senior Advisor from Statped Ms. Marit Solvoll.
“The “Leave No Child Out” - project has been a flagship project for Norway in Georgia“, said Ambassador of Norway H.E. Ms. Bergljot Hovland. “We are grateful for the very good collaboration between UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and the Norwegian National Service for Special Needs Education (Statped), and we are grateful for the very important results that this collaboration has produced. How we care for our children is a key benchmark for democratic societies, and supporting children’s rights is an investment in future social and economic development. We are very pleased to see the progress made by Georgia over the past few years in enhancing and promoting better quality education for children with special educational needs and children with disabilities. Our common aim is to ensure inclusive, quality education for all children. There is more to be done, but this project has laid important foundations to build on. Through setting up a robust and overarching inclusive education support system nationally, the “Leave no child behind”-project delivers sustainable results and long-term effects. A special thanks also to local authorities, teachers and resource persons who are first in line of implementation. Without their concrete efforts, we would see no changes”.
“Children need supportive environments where they can play and connect with each other”, said Jesper Moller, Representative of UNICEF in Georgia. “This initiative supported many children, including children with special education needs and children with disabilities, to enrol in preschools and schools, enabling access to better quality education so they can further develop their skills. We are grateful to the Ministry of Education and Science for a remarkable partnership and to the Norwegian Government for their tremendous support. The decision to establish the new inclusive education support system is one of the significant achievements of the programme. We will continue our cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science and other partners to further strengthen the system to ensure every child has the right to quality learning and inclusive education”.
The programme achieved the following results:
- A new model for an inclusive education support system was developed and the required legislative amendments for the reform of the inclusive education support system were submitted to Parliament for approval.
- The development of the National Strategy of Education and Science for 2022-2030 was supported to incorporate equity, inclusion and diversity as one of its key priorities.
- The Ministry of Education and Science, and selected municipalities planned and designed informal educational programmes (including afterschool programmes) for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
- Nine municipalities developed strategies to improve access to quality early and preschool education for children with special educational needs.
- An authorization system for preschool education institutions was initiated which is expected to contribute to improving early child education quality and inclusiveness by monitoring implementation of the National Standards on Early Childhood Education.
- Child Rights Centres were established in seven state universities as knowledge hubs.
- Inclusive Education Centres were established in targeted public schools to demonstrate and model afterschool programmes for children with special educational needs and disabilities.
- Innovative approaches were piloted in 10 public schools to strengthen inclusive education by improving the use of resource rooms, conducting teacher training, and providing support to children with disabilities and special educational needs in their transition from general to vocational/higher education levels in partnership with 20 state and private vocational education institutions.
- Up to 3,000 preschool and general education specialists improved their capacity to provide better services to children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The programme was implemented in close partnership with government organizations, local NGOs, teachers, educators, parents, children, and young people.
The resources developed within the programme are available here: Leave No Child Out
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/