Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili on Wednesday discussed plans in the country’s educational and scientific sectors for this year with Minister of Education and Science Mikheil Chkhenkeli and his deputies, the Government Administration said.
In a meeting at the Government Administration, the Ministry officials briefed the PM about infrastructural projects in the sectors, starting with the ₾1 billion ($354 mln) budget for construction and renovation of 800 schools across the country between 2022-2026.
Tenders have been completed for the renovation of 320 public schools within the effort, the body said, while calls for companies intending to participate in the renovation are in progress for 80 other schools. The second phase will involve 400 more educational venues between 2024-2026.
Chkhenkeli said “all public schools” across the country would have “modern infrastructure” by 2026, while Garibashvili noted the increased budget for the ministry - set at 2 billion ($760 mln), with an increase of ₾345.9 million ($131 mln) over 2022 - would facilitate the implementation of the planned projects.
The Minister of Education and Science Mikheil Chkhenkeli during the meeting with the PM. Photo: Government press office.
The PM and Education Minister praised the “mega project” of Kutaisi International University launched in the country’s west in 2020 thanks to the founder of the Georgian Dream ruling party and former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, and said the facility was expected to offer new programmes to students “in the near future”.
The Education and Science Ministry officials discussed all planned projects in a meting with the Head of the Georgian Government. Photo: Government press office.
Chkhenkeli also highlighted an agreement signed earlier this year with the German-based GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research, which has enabled sharing of experience in proton cyclotron operation for radiation therapy and provision of scientific and technological consultations to the University for its Hadronic Therapy Centre.
The €1 billion project for the Centre is expected to enable scientific work in the fields of oncology and proton therapy, with the Minister saying the “ultra-modern” cyclotrons had already been installed in the facility.
The discussion also included Georgia’s hosting of the annual international forum of the European Association for Quality Assurance of Higher Education, with 150 industry professionals from 32 European countries expected to attend the event.
The meeting also highlighted Gariibashvili’s “personal role” in 2021 to ensure the country’s associated membership in Horizon Europe, the European Union's new research and innovation framework programme.
The development has allowed Georgia’s scientific community to participate in competitions announced as part of the programme, which has a budget of €95.5 billion, under the same conditions as scientists of the bloc’s member countries.