Estonia and Georgia Team Up to Improve Georgia’s General Education

The Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV) and the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE) have signed a cooperation agreement to contribute €72,100 in improving the quality of general education through the redesign of the quality assurance framework and mechanisms in Georgia. 

This cooperation allows ESTDEV to take Estonia’s own experience in successfully reforming the education sector, and pay it forward by empowering the Georgian school system with the funding and expertise necessary to fully assess the quality and effectiveness of educational endeavors in Georgia.

“Through our collaboration with ESTDEV, we hope to lay a strong foundation of quality for general education in Georgia,” said Lasha Zivzivadze, Head of the Planning, Research, and International Relations Department at NCEQE. “This year, in cooperation with Estonian experts, we will analyze the capability of Georgian schools to conduct self-assessments, define their pivotal needs and possible development paths. We are also developing a methodology and guidelines for evaluating the quality of education within each school.”

Zivzivadze added that the Estonian education system is a comprehensive one, offering a high quality standard regardless of students’ backgrounds or abilities: “Estonia’s general education system is known for its excellent results on the PISA test. It tops the rankings in financial literacy, digital learning, natural sciences, reading, and mathematics.” This is why Georgia is interested in collaborating with Estonia specifically. “PISA results are regarded as one of the best indicators for evaluating the quality of general education in a country,” Zivzivadze explained.

Education in Estonia and Georgia may differ today, but Georgia has taken meaningful steps to move from centralized general education towards a decentralized approach. Georgia has been Estonia’s strategic development partner for 15 years. So far, Estonia has assisted in updating Georgia’s national curricula, training teachers ang advancing vocational education.

“In Estonia, we are proud of the professionalism of our schools and teachers. One of the most crucial elements of this success is autonomy in the way schools are organized and teaching is done. If a country is building a quality assessment system, in addition to updating and following legal regulations, it’s also necessary to plan the measures that will support schools to move towards the desired standards,” said Kristel Rillo, ESTDEV’s Program Manager for Digital Education, pleased with the cooperation initiative.

“It is a great honor that Georgia trusts Estonia’s experience and advice in this area. From this cooperative endeavor, we hopefully will also gain new knowledge and good practices to bring to Estonia’s own education system,” Kristel Rillo added.

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Estonian Centre for International Development is a government foundation that manages and implements Estonia’s participation in international development cooperation and humanitarian aid projects, with the aim of increasing Estonia’s contribution to global security and sustainable development.