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The next meeting of the Georgia-US Strategic Partnership Charter Commission on Public Relations and Cultural Exchange Working Group (P2P) was held at the US State Department in Washington. The meeting was chaired by Irine Abuladze, First Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport and the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs - Vakhtang Makharoblishvili. The US side was represented by Alicia Woodward, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Culture and Alexander Sokolowski, Deputy Assistant Director of the US Agency for International Development.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the progress of Georgia and the ongoing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education, culture, strategic communications and civic integration. They also discussed the need for further expansion of existing cooperation and relevant plans.
As part of the close partnership between Georgia and the United States, USAID will implement another large-scale, five-year project worth US $7 million. Achieving Student-Centered Education for a New Tomorrow (ASCENT) - The project entails to develop literacy, numeracy, problem solving and critical thinking skills amongst primary level tudents at all general educational institutions, as well as implementing university-level programs, that will promote student-oriented educational environment.
The Achieving Student-Centered Education for a New Tomorrow (ASCENT) project will be implemented by Research Triangle Institutes (RTI) along with other local partners. In this process, USAID will actively cooperate with a group of international and local experts working in the field of international education policy.
Talks at the US-Georgia Strategic Partnership Working Group also focused on expanding the Fulbright program. Owing to the initiative of the American side, the English Language Teaching Assistant (ETA) project will be implemented, which aims to support the process of internationalization of the regional higher education institutions. The project envisages assistance in English language teaching and practice classes, professional development of teachers, creation of an English teaching curriculum / programs for higher education institutions and the improvement of the institutional practice of higher education institutions of Georgia on the path of internationalization. The agreement will be signed in Spring and will be implemented in cooperation with the International Center for Education and Science.
Moreover, the parties also discussed the issue of access to education for the IDPs from the occupied territories of Georgia and the programs implemented by the state in this direction. First Deputy Minister of Education, Irina Abuladze provided full information to US partners on the Georgian government's peace initiatives on access to education.