At the end of September 2016, the planning of the cooperation project “Partnership on promoting education policy capacity, advocacy and school development in Georgia was launched with the Danish Upper Secondary School Teachers’ National Trade Union, GL visiting the offices of the Educators and Scientists Free Trade Union of Georgia, ESFTUG. The GL-ESFTUG Solidarity Project is implemented with the support of the Foreign Ministry of Denmark and the Civil Society Foundation in Development (CISU) since June 2017.

The objectives of the solidary project are to advance teachers’ involvement in the school development process at local as well as national levels, whereas in the long run perspective it aims to advance teachers and education trade union internal and external competences to advocate education policy and equal access of quality education for all in Georgia.

The main themes of the seminar focus on democratic management culture in schools, formative evaluation and feedback culture, pedagogical use of ICT in education, and student centred teaching and learning.

At the first stage of the project, GL invited the ESFTUG leaders in August 2017 on a study trip to Denmark for an introduction into GL activities, observe the teaching /learning processes in the upper secondary schools in Denmark and meet with teachers, who are part of the project, as well as the Danish Ministry of Education.

ESFTUG reported that with the ongoing reforms in the education system in Georgia, the needs to implement support projects is of primary importance in order to meet the European standards and requirements by schools and advancement of professional development of teachers in Georgia.

The first two project seminars took place at the end of October and December 2017 with highly qualified trainer-teachers who had been selected by GL. More than 90 teachers from across Georgia attended the seminars.

As a sign of the close cooperation between ESFTUG and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, and stressing the importance of the Danish experience sharing, the Ministry of Education recommended public school directors to allow teachers to participate in the project without any deduction of their salaries for attending the significate professional development seminars on working days.

Impressed by the readiness and devotion of teachers in Georgia, colleagues in Denmark noted: “The training days inspired you to be engines in your schools and not the passengers developing your system. Gratitude to each of you for being active, motivated, full of energy and positive. We will share the experiences gained from you with our colleagues and students in Denmark”.

The next upcoming four-day seminars are to be held in March and April 2018. Overall, 160 ESFTUG members, teachers from the upper secondary schools, will be trained in the framework of this project.

Expressing her gratitude on behalf of ESFTUG,  Maia Kobakhidze, ESFTUG President said: “We look forward to a day when ESFTUG will have the capacity to implement similar projects for other countries. Therefore, it is an urgent necessity that teachers’ competences and organisational capacities be advanced”.

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