Raising Teaching Standards in Vocational Education and Training

Apr 27, 2017

Students and teachers of vocational colleges in Senaki, western Georgia. Photo: UNDP

Representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, Georgian universities and agriculture extension centres gathered on April 27, 2017, to discuss a new model of educational and qualification programmes for vocational teachers in agriculture.

The workshop was organised with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Georgia and Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus.

Olivier Bürki, Regional Director of the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus; Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia; Ketevan Natriashvili, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia; and Revaz Asatiani, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Georgia, opened a discussion with welcome remarks.      

The new training model for vocational teachers and agriculture extension officers aims to increase standards of vocational teaching and provides teachers and consultants with the opportunity to get a quality education in Georgian universities. First university minors in vocational teaching in agriculture are expected to be launched at Ilia State University in 2017 and 2018, after this new approach is officially approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.

The new model is based on the best practices of educational and qualification programmes for teachers of Vocational Education and Training (VET) adopted in Switzerland.

The development of a new model started earlier this year, after the visit of a group of Georgian university researchers, government officials and vocational education professionals to Bern University of Applied Sciences. The Georgian delegation met representatives of the School for Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL) and discussed practical aspects of establishing minor university programmes for the VET teachers, including for curricula, specific modules, qualification standards and E-learning opportunities.

The initiative is part of a wider six-year programme in support of the ongoing reform in Georgia’s vocational education and training system. With the budget over US$ 6 million, the programme is funded by the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) for the South Caucasus, and implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia.  

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