Tolerance and Diversity Institute


TDI’s Conference Dedicated to the International Day of Education

To mark the International Day of Education, on January 24, Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI) organized a conference - Tolerance and Diversity in Public Schools. 

In 2018 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. 

Ambassador of the Netherlands Mrs. Maaike van Koldam and UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia Dr. Sabine Machl made opening remarks and spoke about the importance of tolerance and education. 

The conference was commenced with the exhibition – Vector of Courage. Posters about the life and activities of twelve persons who courageously opposed the intolerance of the majority was presented. 

Ambassador of the Netherlands Maaike van Koldam presented the Dutch Resistance Hero Diet Eman, representative of the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development Elene Nodia spoke about human rights defender Emil Adelkhanov, psychologist Hurie Abashidze presented the scientist Aleksandre (Saba) Kldiashvili, researcher of the Literature Institute Oktai Kazumovi introduced the philosopher Merab Mamardashvili and the researcher at the Smithsonian Institute Milena Oganesian spoke about the journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

The first session of the conference was dedicated to the discussion on tolerance and ethnic/religious diversity in public schools. 

During the first panel discussion TDI’s Mako Gavtadze, psychologist Hurie Abashidze, director of Peace Foundation Giorgi Tumasyan and the teacher of civic education Eka Simsive spoke about the challenges of promoting tolerance in public schools. 

TDI’s director Eka Chitanava, representative of the Ministry of Education Mariam Chikobava, Vice-Rector of Ilia State University Nino Doborjginidze and the researcher at the Institute of Literature Oktai Kazumovi overviewd the policies and perspectives of teaching diversity in Geogian schools. 

The third part of the conference was devoted to those initiatives of the civil society that are aimed at the promotion of tolerance in education. Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI), the United National Association of Georgia (UNAG), Centre for Civil Integration and Inter-Ethnic Relations (CCIIR), Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development (CIPPD), Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI), Media Development Foundation (MDF), Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and the social enterprise Gumbati of Tsalka region presented their projects to the guests. 

At the concluding session TDI’s education program coordinator Nino Tsintsadze made presentation of the organization’s new publication - the guide for the school teachers - Lessons of Tolerance. 

The event was attended by the teachers of civic education, Georgian language and literature and history, representatives of the Ministry of Education, field experts, embassies, local and international organizations, diverse ethnic and religious communities.

The conference was organized in the framework of the project Fostering Religious Tolerance and Cultural Diversity in Public Schools of Georgia, supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands.