TDI's Starts a New Project on Promoting Tolerance Through Public Education System
Since June 2014, the Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) has started a joint project Advancing Tolerance, Religious Freedom and Human Rights in Georgia, together with the Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI) and Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center (EMC). The project is funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Georgia and will be implemented within two years.
In the framework of the project TDI is going to implement the following activities:
Revision of textbooks: School textbooks of Georgian Language and Literature, History of Georgia and Civic Education will be revised and recommendations will be proposed for refining the content in order to promote tolerance, diversity and religious neutrality through public education system.
School clubs around 10 schools in Georgia: TDI will select 10 schools around Georgia for setting up discussion clubs on tolerance and religious neutrality (4 in Tbilisi, 2 in Kutaisi, 2 in Batumi and 2 in Akhaltsikhe). At each school 10 selected teachers will undergo a training on “How to Promote Tolerance at Schools”. Overall 100 teachers will be trained across 10 schools. At the following stage the trained teachers will organize discussion clubs for students at their schools. It is also planned to familiarize members of student clubs with the diverse ethnic and religious minority groups of respective cities – field-visits will be payed to the communities of various religious denominations (Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Hebrew, and Muslim).
An optional course on tolerance for students studying pedagogy at universities: TDI will collaborate with Ilia State University, Universities of Akhaltsikhe, Kutaisi and Batumi and create optional accredited courses for future teachers on promoting tolerance and diversity acceptance
Capacity Building for the National Center for Teachers’ Professional Development: TDI team will elaborate a special ToT module “How to Promote Tolerance at Schools” in cooperation with the National Center for Teacher Professional Development. ToT participants will be able to train teachers themselves in the future.
Certification tests upgraded for teachers: In addition, the project – in cooperation with the Center for Teacher Professional Development - will aim to have the state teachers’ certification (eligibility) test questions revised. TDI will aim at including questions assessing candidate teachers’ degree of tolerance and neutrality.
School of Tolerance: TDI will establish a School of Tolerance aimed at fostering the ideas of freedom of religion, secularism, tolerance and diversity among future journalists, lawyers, political scientists, teachers and other motivated students who will be able to use this knowledge in their future careers and contribute to creating more tolerant environment. 10 public lectures on topic of freedom of religion and tolerance will be held for each group of students. Students, with the facilitation of leading experts in the field, will prepare seminars, discussions and debates. Under the proposed activity TDI will record and disseminate video-lectures online. The themes will focus on liberal traditions in European and Georgian contexts.
Video clips: TDI will prepare at least three 3-minute video clips which will feature ideas and statements of authoritative Georgian historic public figures (Ilia Chavchavadze, Grigol Peradze, Iakob Gogebashvilie and others) about the convergence of Georgian and European values.