Multicultural Georgia for safe schools
The training on safe schools for multicultural society was conducted in Georgia. The guideline was prepared in Georgian language and translated into Azeri and Armenian languages.
Access to social, economic and educational rights for vulnerable children and youth remains a challenge in Georgia. Amongst the most vulnerable are children and youth from ethnic minority populated areas. Poverty rate is high among Georgian youth, especially within ethnic minority communities. According to the most recent UNICEF study “27 per cent of Georgia’s 0-16 year old children live in poverty, around 50,000 children live in extreme poverty and consume less than 2 GEL per day. Households with children are more disadvantaged than those without children, and the higher the number of children in the household, the greater is the poverty risk. The percentage of children living below the national poverty line increased from 25 per cent in 2011 to 27 per cent in 2013, as social spending was more focused on other groups” .
Another phenomenon closely linked with child poverty is child marriages. Early marriages are widespread among ethnic and religious minority communities, and families with low socio-economic status. According to WHO data, Georgia stands out among the Caucasus countries with its high rates of early marriages . Nearly 7,400 girls aged 13 to 15 have dropped out of schools in 2011-2012 countrywide. In 2008-2012, Georgia’s ethnic minority populated region of Kvemo Kartli had 341 female victims of early marriages. There were cases of suicides among child brides.
The working group tried to implement the program which would have a long-term impact pursuant to existing challenges in Georgia. There were discussed 3 main topics in the guideline:
- The role of the teacher in order to provide school safety.
- The existing regulation in Georgia about children violence, early marriage and child labor – for high school principles, representatives of administration and heads of resource centers.
- “School safety and the risk of leaving school” where the school safety view in terms of local community and school cooperation is expressed.
The training was conducted in July, 2016 in Batumi. 129 school representatives participated in the training, amongst them were 72 teachers, 57 school principles and head of resource center from Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli and Samckhe-Javakheti.
The schools from ethnic minority regions and settlements of Internally Displaced children from Tskhinvali region attended the training.
The training was conducted in frames of the project “Strengthening Local Capacities for Children’s Rights Protection”. It is implemented by CNC member organizations “Civic Development Institute” and “Biliki”. The coordinator organization of the project is “Open Society Georgia Foundation” (OSGF).