The Parliament of Georgia is launching an educational campaign to teach young citizens about parliamentary democracy. Prepared with support from the European Union (EU) and UNDP, a new educational initiative ‘What Do We Know About Parliament?’ offers fifth-, sixth- and seventh-graders an enjoyable way to learn about the roles, functions and history of the Georgian Parliament. It also introduces tools and mechanisms that citizens can use to engage in parliamentary work.
The new educational module contains colourful textbooks for children and detailed guidebooks for teachers. In May of this year, over 50 public school teachers took a training course on using the textbooks with their pupils. In the upcoming academic year, the Ministry of Education and Science will pilot the module in 50 public schools, reaching around 3,000 students in Tbilisi and the Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti and Shida Kartli regions of eastern Georgia.
The new textbooks and an educational module were presented to the public today by Parliament Chairperson Kakha Kuchava, EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell and UNDP Acting Head Anna Chernyshova. The outdoor event in Tbilisi’s Mziuri Park brought together schoolchildren, teachers, MPs and educational organizations for a day of civic learning.
Children got to engage in various activities, such as a reading corner, drawing on a board of ideas for MPs and colouring along with George Gamez, a well-known artist who illustrated the textbooks. The event concluded with an educational quiz on the Parliament.
“Parliamentary classes in schools will help young Georgians learn about their country and its governance. It will also prepare them for their future role as citizens and will help them contribute to strengthening democracy in Georgia,” Kuchava said.
“The EU remains a strong partner of Georgia in building parliamentary democracy,” Hartzell said. “Citizen engagement, which starts with awareness and information, is one of the cornerstones of democratic development. The new educational initiative by the Parliament aims to promote civic education and bring Parliament closer to youth.”
“Learning about and understanding how democracy works since childhood is crucially important to building social attitudes and awareness of future citizens,” Chernyshova noted. “Civic education is one of the priorities of our work to support parliamentary democracy in Georgia.”
The EU and UNDP are supporting civic education at schools as part of their broader programme to assist Georgia to consolidate democratic gains and build institutional development of the Georgian Parliament.