The joint sitting of the Health Care and Social Issues and the Education, Science and Culture Committees
The Committees discussed rehabilitation of children with disabilities and inclusive aid. According to the human rights protection action plan, the NPLE “Studio ADC” and “Child, Family, Society” representatives and parents of disabled children discussed implementation of the facilitation to inclusive aid.
The parties discussed the problems emerged upon provision of equal possibilities for persons with disabilities. As noted, the child early development program shall be further extended to cover wider geographical area. Despite existence of rehabilitation centers and family services, it is not enough as the number of children pending is still high. One of the factors impeding inclusion of children into early development program is scarcity of funds and training of qualified personnel. As the specialists stated, particular attention shall be attached to civil integration of disable children of ethnic minorities. The sitting was attended by NGOs, representatives of the Ministries of Labor, Health and Social Protection and of Education and Science. They introduced problem solution ways and recommendations.
According to MP, Rati Ionatamashvili, “Protection of rights of persons with disabilities is one of the acute challenges of the Government. My mandate in the Parliament does not belong to me only but it belongs to all persons with disabilities. However, I have to state that the issue covers various directions and simultaneous solution is impossible. It shall be solved stage by stage, though we shall not waste time as it is an important factor”.
The Chair of the HealthCare and Social Issues Committee resumed the sitting. “Today, we started consideration of important issues and the sittings will further continue. We will get resumed to the issue, especially upon consideration of the budget. We will discuss the issue in working regime with all the parties and I hope we will achieve a lot”, - Akaki Zoidze stated.
The Committees also considered the draft on Status of Military Serviceman, introduced by the Deputy-Defense Minister, Nukri Gelashvili. The draft envisages improvement of conditions for conscripts – establishment of new rules for temporary leave and vacation for the military-men in Defense Ministry to allow them better master the profession.
The change is entailed with the circumstance that in view of obtained skills according to the combat training and profession of a military-man, the serviceman shall pass the initial training similar to NATO Forces.
The serviceman shall be trained in physical terms and shall obtain necessary skills allowing him continuing his military career in the future. The Committees supported the draft.
Inter-continental Conference for Culture of Peace through Education Will Be Held Online
An inter-continental online peace conference will be held on January 24th, 2021, in attendance with about 2,000 participants from 17 countries, including the Philippines, India, Australia, and South Korea.
The host of this conference is a Korea-based international peace NGO, Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) affiliated with the UN DGC and the UN ECOSOC.
This virtual peace conference is organized in commemoration of the 7th Anniversary of the January 24th HWPL Peace Day which was designated by the Province of Maguindanao in the Philippines to celebrate the peace agreement in Mindanao on January 24th in 2014.
The agreement was suggested by Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL and signed by government, religious and civil society leaders to engage in collaboration of peacebuilding efforts to end the decades-long conflict.
Since then, the annual commemorative event such as a grand peace festival, international peace walks, exhibitions of peace in local museums, and inter-faith conferences has taken place to celebrate the peace agreement and raise awareness of peace among citizens in the region.
The event has discussed the history, current issues, and plans for long-term peace in Mindanao as a set of peacebuilding models based on the cooperation of actors in different fields with events that raised awareness of the need for securing sustainable peace.
With the theme of "The Role of Peace Education in Building a Peaceful World”, this year’s celebration, in line with the International Day of Education, aims to establish a global platform for peace educators to implement peace education in the educational system of each country.
Although the event is open online this year due to the COVID-19, more than 2,000 participants, including politicians, religious leaders, social figures, and educators are expected to attend.
The inter-continental conference will include the graduation of peace education students, the peace pledge ceremony, and various addresses regarding the value of peace education.
An official of HWPL said, “Through the 7th Anniversary of the January 24th HWPL Peace Day, we aim to raise awareness of the importance of peace education and culture of peace. It will be an opportunity to revitalize people around the world who are currently experiencing various violence and conflicts, especially since the onset of COVID 19, with a hope and spirit of peace.”
Anyone interested in the event can join by signing up at https://tinyurl.com/HWPLPeaceDayZoomReg until the 23rd of January. The event will be live-streamed through https://www.facebook.com/hwplph/ from 16:00 (KST) on the day of the event.
You can too! How the EU supports women entrepreneurs in Georgia
You can too! How the EU supports women entrepreneurs in Georgia?
- 1. I want to start my own business, but I’m not sure my idea would work. Who can advise me?
The European Union is very active in supporting the development of new businesses, particularly among women and particularly in the regions of Georgia, often with a focus on rural and disadvantaged areas. So don’t think that you need to be in Tbilisi, to have a higher education or an established business in order to access EU support – on the contrary!
The EU supports a number of programmes and business support facilities that provide know how, practical help, and even funding to help you start your business.
Here are some examples:
If you are looking for support in agriculture, the ENPARD programme provides information, training, advice and financial support all over Georgia, with hundreds of thousands of farmers benefitting since 2013. Visit the programme’s interactive map to find regional initiatives, contacts, information centres and cooperatives near you.
The Mayors for Economic Growth programme supports local authorities in developing economic growth and job creation. Among the dozens of local authorities that have signed up in Georgia, three – Bolnisi, Gori and Tbilisi – are running pioneer projects including support for new entrepreneurs with training and business development facilities, ensuring the equal access of women to development opportunities.
- 2. Business advice is all very well, but you need money to develop your business. How can I get funding when I have no money of my own and no business experience?
A number of grants for agricultural projects are available under the ENPARD programme. Follow the calls section on their website to see the list of grant competitions that are available.
While the local development projects funded under the Mayors for Economic Growth initiative do not provide grants, they will help you to access finance. For example, the SPARK business accelerator set up under the project in Tbilisi offers new businesses assistance in preparing a business plan, and puts you in contact with potential investors and sources of finance.
One EU-funded programme offers loans that are specifically tailored to women: Women in Business can provide finance both to start and develop a business. The programme works with local partners Bank of Georgia and TBC Bank and offers preferential terms for women entrepreneurs to finance new business ideas or expand an existing business. Several other projects under the EU4Business initiative also work with local banks to provide loans for SMEs – from micro-finance to major investment loans.
- 3. I already have a business, but I need help to take it to the next step: is there any EU support available for me?
If you already have a business and you are looking to develop, funding (and training) is available through a number of programmes under the EU4Business initiative, which supports private sector development across Georgia.
Apart from providing loans, Women in Business offers training and subsidised advisory services that are specifically tailored to women-led businesses. The programme also offers a personalised online tool – the Business Lens – to assess your business and see what kind of support you can access.
Some EU4Business programmes also offer finance for much larger businesses, but others such as the DCTA Initiative East offer microfinance loans up to €25,000. The European Fund for South East Europe (EFSE) also provides small loans (average loan size €14,300) to the smallest businesses (less than 10 employees) in sectors such as agriculture, industry, trade and services. Click here for the full list of finance programmes under EU4Business, here for projects offering training and business advice, and here for projects supporting access to markets.
Georgian entrepreneurs also have access to the Enterprise Europe Network, which helps Georgian SMEs find business and technology partners across Europe and beyond.
- 4. I’m not sure I want to start a business, but I want to learn new skills: is there something for me from the EU?
Training and skills are a key priority of EU support in Georgia, and the EU provides considerable funding for Vocational Education and Training (VET). The EU recently launched a 150 million GEL programme supporting vocational education and labour market development. The 5-year programme will help 105,000 Georgians find jobs by expanding high quality vocation education, improving labour policies, and supporting entrepreneurship training.
In terms of direct support, the individual EU4Youth programmes – Say YES: Skills for Jobs, Enhancing Youth Education, Employment and Participation in Conflict-affected Areas in Georgia and Ukraine, Fostering Potential for Greater Employability, and Better Skills for Better Future – have a strong focus on skills for under-35s, especially in less advantaged regions of Georgia, providing training, mentoring and internships to help young people find jobs.
For young women under the age of 30, the EU offers exciting opportunities under its Erasmus + youth programmes. You can join the almost 10,000 young Georgians who have already learned new skills and developed valuable experience by participating in youth projects or volunteering for work abroad under the European Solidarity Corps.
- 5. Are there women like me, who started their own business with EU help?
There are lots!
Nata, Manana, Irina and Dali all received grants under the ENPARD programme. Natalia and Irina come from Tbilisi, Manana from Tsalka, and Dali from Upper Alvani. Natalia grows cucumbers, Irina tomatos, Manana runs a tea processing enterprise, and Dali combines honey production with educational courses. They have all developed their business with the help of EU training and grants.
Irina Gloveliand Tekla Mamageishvili both received advisory support as part of the Women in Business programme. For Tekla, the project helped to plan the activities of her eye clinic more strategically and attract financial resources, while Irina received help to put her engineering company’s financial reporting in order, leading to a 7.5% rise in profits.
Manana Chqareuliworked from home as a seamstress. With the help of loans under the EFSE programme, she was able to upgrade her equipment, lease a proper workspace and hire staff to develop her business. Now her company is on its way to becoming a brand in its own right.
Diana Bakradze and Anna Varamashvili benefitted from skills training and internships under a project for ‘Support of vulnerable youth to become productive citizens through learning, training and employment’, an important step to an independent professional life.
Click here for more success stories from ENPARD, here to find out what the city of Bolnisi is doing under the Mayors for Economic Growth project, and here to learn about five Georgian women who have benefited from EU support across a range of areas.
- 6. Whom can I ask for help?
Visit the ENPARD website to find contact information in all the different regions of Georgia, and check the programme’s interactive map to find regional initiatives, contacts, information centres and cooperatives near you.
If you already have a business and are looking to develop it, check out the training and funding opportunities available under EU4Business in Georgia.
For education and youth opportunities, contact the national Erasmus + office in Georgia.
And don’t forget to follow the EU Delegation to Georgia on Facebook for updates and new opportunities.
Peace Education for Future Generations: Workshop for Educators in Cotabato City
Representatives from the government and educators in Cotabato City from 55 public and private schools gathered at a workshop from January 17 to 18 targeting introduction and expansion of peace education for students.
The workshop was hosted by HWPL, an international non-government organization registered as the consultative status in the UN ECOSOC and affiliated as a partnership with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines.
85 educators from 55 public and private schools in Cotabato City at the workshop developed teaching guides appropriate for each educational level, based on the curriculum drafted by HWPL to provide peace education worldwide and the collaboration of participant experts in the field of education including CHED and the DepEd Schools Division Office Cotabato City.
“We can achieve peace, first in our home, inside our classroom, in school, in our division, in our communities. That's why we are here because we want to promote peace through education,” said Dr. Concepcion Ferrer-Balawag, Cotabato City Schools Division Superintendent.
As for the need for a workshop for educators with international cooperation, Agney C. Taruc, the Regional Education Program Supervisor of Region XII, pointed out the opportunity for “joining the different cultures, different voices and different kind of people that are working to achieve peace in this world” and “bringing people together to work and to move more to achieve peace in Mindanao especially in Cotabato City.”
Teachers at this workshop wrote their lesson plans based on the DepEd guidelines and 12 HWPL Peace Education Lessons implanting such values as diversity, harmony, coexistence, respect and understanding. As HWPL’s global project of “spreading a culture of peace”, the academic sources based on pilot training programs have been applied to 214 educational institutions in 36 countries.
“All students should be taught peace from the textbooks they learn every day, and the teachings of war must be changed and discontinued. How can we achieve peace? Peace begins by teaching students about peace,” said Chairman Man Hee Lee of HWPL at a press conference, Manila, back in 2018.
Prior to this, a pilot testing was held last November 2019 in 7 participating schools. Since 2016, dozens of schools including the Cotabato City State Polytechnic College established partnership with HWPL for peace education targeted to youth. In 2018, HWPL and CHED signed an MOA to integrate peace education in the curriculums of universities and colleges.
HWPL is an international organization headquartered in Seoul, Republic of Korea - committed to advancing peace through DPCW (Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War), associated with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UN ECOSOC). After proclaiming the Declaration of World Peace in 2013, HWPL expanded its peace movement in 70 countries. A few years later, HWPL has reached 127 countries.
China International Education College to open in Tbilisi
China International Education College is founded by China International Education Group. Various educational institutions in China, Europe and Asia are successfully operating under the umbrella of this group.
Our institute is dedicated to teaching Chinese, organizing multifaceted cultural and cognitive events that will help Georgian society to better understand Chinese culture, as well as deepen multilateral relations and cooperation between China and Georgia.
Our Institute is the first fully independent private institute of its kind in Georgia. It is worth noticing that the China International Education group is the one of the important investors in Georgia in the field of education, currently investing approximately 3 million GEL, and plans to invest in vocational education in the future.
On January 11, 2020, at 15:00, at the headquarters of the China International Education College, Andrew and Meliton Balanchivadze Ave. # 43, the official opening ceremony of the China International Education College will be held.
Invited guests are Ambassador of China to Georgia - Ms. Lee Ian, guests from Ministry of Education, state and public figures, also specially for this day, for the first time senior statesmen will come from China : Mr. Wu Ni - Director of the Institute for Education Development and Reforms of the Chinese Academy of Education, Mr. Xu Zhengzhong - Director of the Institute for Education Development and Reforms and other guests.
The following people will give speeches at the ceremony : Mr. Kang Zheng – founder of the institute, Ms. Eli Elisashvili – Director, Mr. Wu Ni and Mr. Xu Zhengzhong.
This event will also include a presentation of the first Chinese-Georgian dictionary, translated by the director of the Institute - Eli Elisashvili, published in China, and second edition will be performed in Georgia.
Giorgi Gakharia: Opening the European School is a new step for our system of education and in Georgia-EU relations
The opening of the European School is a very important new step for our system of education and, most importantly, a step forward in the relations between Georgia and the European Union, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated in his speech at today's ceremony marking the beginning of construction of the European School Complex.
The Head of Government expressed gratitude to European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation Johannes Hahn for his special contribution to the initiation of the project.
"This school, and its character, bears witness to the importance of Georgia-EU relations, and the depth of our developing cooperation and partnership. The school's students will propagate the values poised to strengthen this country and eventually turn it into an organic part of the European Union," Giorgi Gakharia emphasized.
The Prime Minister also thanked Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mikheil Batiashvili and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze for their engagement with the project's implementation.
The Prime Minister, together with European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiation Johannes Hahn, Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport Mikheil Batiashvili and Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, buried a time capsule at the construction of the European School Complex by Lisi Lake. The EU-standard European School with a dorm for 100 students will be built in this territory. The land for the school is allocated by the Tbilisi City Hall.
The European School, unmatched throughout the region, will set a precedent outside the European Union. The establishment of the school is one of the goals of the Eastern Partnership's 20 Deliverables for 2020 under the Eastern Partnership for the EU. The school will offer a multicultural environment and fundamental values-based quality education to students from six partner countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Ukraine-with a view to enhancing their employment opportunities.