Georgia and World Bank launch I2Q project to support human capital
“We are excited to support the Georgian Government’s commitment to the new generation,” says Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus.
The Government of Georgia and the World Bank launched today the Innovation, Inclusion, and Quality (I2Q) project at an event held at the Ceremonial Palace of Georgia. The $102.7 million project aims to support investment in human capital through greater access to preschool education, and enhancements aimed at improving the quality education and the learning environment.
"We are excited to support the Georgian Government's commitment to the new generation," says Sebastian Molineus, World Bank Regional Director for the South Caucasus. "We believe that innovative, inclusive and high-quality education is essential for human capital development and will allow narrowing the skills gap between learning outcomes and labor market expectations."
The project has five overall goals: expanding access to and improving the quality of early childhood education and care, fostering quality teaching and learning in general education, strengthening financing options and promoting adherence of higher education to international standards, system strengthening and stakeholder communication, and supporting project management, monitoring, and evaluation.
"The active and fruitful cooperation between the Government of Georgia and the World Bank will bring tangible and stable results for the education system," says Mikheil Chkhenkeli, Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport of Georgia.
In the coming six years, the infrastructure component of the I2Q project entails building up to five new schools, rehabilitating about 60 existing schools, and the introduction of over 150 child-centered and modern preschool education programs for a successful transition to school. Overall, the project is expected to benefit around 116, 000 preschool and general education students.
The project will also ensure that special consideration is given to gender equality and support to vulnerable populations, including students and schools with low socioeconomic status located in rural and remote areas, as well as ethnic minorities and students with diverse learning needs. Additionally, the project will also support students in higher education institutions with over 45 grants for modernized academic programs with greater linkages to the labor market.
The project is closely aligned with the World Bank's latest Country Partnership Framework 2019-2022 for Georgia and will support the Georgian Government's 2018-2023 Education Reform Agenda. The project was approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors on May 29, 2019, and the Financing Agreement was signed on June 18 of the same year.