Batumi opened its 8th environmental conference of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) “Environment for Europe”, in which besides the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, other ministers participated.
Within the scope of the Ministerial, there are 56 600 official delegates and representatives from over 56 countries. Amongst them are the heads of the various ministries, who are in charge of education and environment issues, as well as business associations, and international organizations.
Within this project framework, Minister Aleksandre Jejelava spoke about sustainable development in the country, its opportunities and challenges. According to the Minister's vision it is of great priority to provide children with the environmental education from the early age, and for this purpose, guidelines and standars have been developed for pre-school education. As for the general education level, Eco literacy plays an important role in the National Curriculum.
Moreover, for the head teachers, a set of guidelens and standards are being developed for the Disaster Risk Reducation (DRR). With the financial support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), there will be an “environmental education in schools” program set up for the students of I-IX grade.
As for the environmental protection, a number of programs and projects have been designed for the teachers. There are trainings for sustainable use of resources, biodiversity, energy efficiency and waste management as well. Additionally, master classes are held for the sustainable tourism, and climate change. Furthermore, global environmental problems oriented training are being conducted.
It is important to mention the project - "Training Educators for Excellence", which is intended for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects for the school teachers and principals. Leadership Academy is also planned to be established, and it will mandatory for the principals.
With the support of the International non-governmental organization - PH International Georgian students have the opportunity to learn and carry out various researches, for example: how to plan an experimental study in STEM subjects.
The new environmental qualifications are reflected through higher and vocational education. Institutions of higher education programs have been developed based on the National Curriculum, which includes qualifications in biodiversity, environment and safety engineering, ecology and other environmental programs which are granted through bachelor's, master's and PhD degree.
According to Mr. Aleksandre Jejelava, all above-mentioned projects are highly important for our country, and its sustainable future. An accelerated transformation to sustainable development will become the key to economical growth of the country. And this transformation needs to be started from the quality education, from giving people the skills and knowledge to engage in society to secure global, as well as, local and national change that can ensure a more just and equitable society.
It is important to note that, natural science, engineering, and agricultural sciences were announced by the government as priorities and they are free of charge for students since 2012.