On December 27th the Centre for Civil Integration and Inter-Ethnic Relations organized opening ceremony of the project “Development of Bilingual Literacy in Minority Schools of Georgia”. The Ministry of Education and Science hosted the event. The project is financed by the USAID under the program “All Children Read: A Grand Challenge for Development”.

The event was opened by the Deputy Minister of Education and Science - Mr. Goglichidze and Deputy Minister of Reintegration Ms. Keti Tsikelashvili. Senior staff of the project represented the project to the audience and got them aquatinted with the objectives which are planned to be achieved within the project.

Minority schools have been implementing the bilingual programs since 2010. The gaps identified by the CCIIR for the period of program implementation include lack of appropriate materials as well as bilingual teachers. Literacy in native language as well as bi-literacy remain to be critical issue for minority schools.

The idea of the project is to improve reading literacy in native language of ethnic minority students as well as enhance state language command.

“The project goals and objectives are oriented on long-term results. We hope that bilingual leveled reading texts and professional development programs for teachers will contribute to not only the minority primary school students, but to the development of bilingual education among non-Georgian school students in general.” – said Shalva Tabatadze, director of Center for Civil Integration and Inter-ethnic Relations.

216 minority schools and 30 000 pupils of primary school will benefit from the project. The project duration is 22 month and it will be completed in September 2014.