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Support of the local authorities in Georgia in extending the children's access to preschool education

The project beneficiaries include representatives of local communities from four regions of Kakheti: Akhmeta, Kvareli, Telavi and Gurjaani, and six regions in western Georgia: Zugdidi, Tsalendjikha, Khobi, Martvili, Senaki and Borjomi. In these regions, kindergartens are located mainly in regional towns. Engaging adults and giving them the opportunity to independently work for the benefit of their children will strengthen their independence in terms of resolving problems within their community. It is also important to develop the skills of teachers working with children because not many of them have received a higher education in this field. The teacher training programmes are outdated; teachers are unable to supplement their training or follow modern achievements in education.

Support of the local authorities in Georgia in extending the children's access to preschool education

The Socio-Educational Association Edukator from Lomza implemented the project “Support for local governments in Georgia in relation to improving children’s access to preschool education” in two regions of Georgia between March and the end of December 2013. The partners were: the organisation Civitas Georgica from Tbilisi, the Teacher Training Centre in Lomza and the local governments of Zugdidi, Martvili, Tsalendjikha, Khobi, Senaki, Chkhorotskhu (western Georgia, Samegrelo) and Sagarejo, Lagodekhi and Sighnaghi (the Kakheti region).

The project was aimed at improving the mechanism for equalising educational opportunities among children and young people in rural regions, where there is usually no access to preschool education, which limits educational and personal prospects.

Under the project, 14 alternative preschool groups were created. In the newly created centres, which were renovated and furnished, educational programmes were implemented for children aged 3-6 years; psychological and medical examinations were also carried out. A total of 286 children were provided with preschool education.

To ensure high standards at the centres, the teachers working there underwent training and were also provided with regular methodological support. Training was also provided for teachers in local-government kindergartens. A total of 40 teachers participated in longer training sessions and 90 in shorter sessions. Local government representatives (35 people) underwent training in two seminars devoted to quality preschool education.

Thanks to the project, local governments were able to become acquainted with and implement a new preschool education model and thereby equalise the educational opportunities for children who until that time had not been receiving preschool education. Responsibility for the upkeep of the centres and their furnishings was passed over to the local government partners, and the centres are continuing their work.