With Joint efforts of World Vision Georgia and partner organisations asylum-seeker and refugee school children will study Georgian language in the public schools
26 March

On 26 March 2024, the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the LEPL National Center for Teacher Professional Development (TPDC) and donor organizations – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Georgia, World Vision Georgia Foundation and Gudavadze Patarkatsishvili Foundation to support the provision of asylum-seeker and refugee school children with Georgian language learning support in the public schools.

The memorandum was signed by the UNHCR Representative in Georgia - Ms. Kemlin Furley, Director of the TPDC - Mr. Berika Shukakidze, Director of the Gudavadze-Patarkatsishvili Foundation – Mr. Zurab Kervalishvili and Director of the World Vision Georgia Foundation – Ms. Ekaterine Gurgenadze. 

The project "Supporting the inclusion of refugee schoolchildren residing in Georgia in State Language Education" is specially designed for refugee and asylum seeker children living in Georgia. It is also in line with: (i) the pledge made by the Georgian government at the Global Refugee Forum, to ‘enhance access to education services for refugees and humanitarian status holders”, (ii) the Education Strategy of Georgia for 2022-2032, that focuses on equality, inclusion, and diversity, and (iii) Sustainable Development Goal 4, emphasizing the commitment to providing inclusive education for all students. 

The project will address the need for improvement in the proficiency of the Georgian language among refugee school children. TPDC will deliver intensive online classes in the Georgian language and develop a comprehensive curriculum essential for teaching of Georgian as a foreign language in schools. This will enable refugee children to enhance their language skills through both in-person and online modes. To ensure the sustainability of the intervention, the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth of Georgia (MES), will take over the methodology and learning material as the basis for systemic teaching support for refugee/foreign children in public schools. 

The initiative also corresponds with the UNHCR Refugee Education Strategy 2030, which aims to promote equitable and sustainable inclusion into national systems for forcibly displaced and stateless children. Therefore, UNHCR assists host governments in many countries to fulfil their commitments to refugee protection and create conditions for the inclusion of forcibly displaced and stateless people in national education systems. Language is fundamental to the quality of education outcomes and for success in refugee integration. UNHCR hopes that the initiative with the TPDC will provide the basis and give a boost in this direction.

Currently, there are 624 students with refugee and asylum seeker children enrolled across 124 general education institutions in Georgia, spanning primary, basic, and secondary levels. Georgia has offered its protection to nearly 2,500 people fleeing persecution or war in countries such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, as well as Ukraine. 

Together with the Government of Georgia, UNHCR, World Vision and TPDC  are committed to the integration of refugee children in Georgia, understanding that their integration greatly depends on available education opportunities and related language support.