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ეკონომიკის განვითარებისა და სიღარიბის შემცირების პროგრამა (სტუ, სელკრიკის კოლეჯი, თომპსონ რივერის უნივერსიტეტი) - Page 6



Student representatives from the newly forming/evolving student council at Georgian Technical University met with members of the Mission team and at the students’ request the project will incorporate a component on student governance.  Of particular interest to both the DCO and the CCI is the issue of maintaining fair and equitable student council representation in a multi-campus model.  SC student council has endorsed participation in the project, and excited about the opportunity to share their own expertise and to learn from others.


This international connection of youth involved in leadership roles in their respective institutions is an exciting, progressive component that will span the length of the project, and will  have lasting, sustainable individual and institutional outcomes.  Students involved in this program will be able to count participation in this project as their volunteer hours for certification in the Student Leadership program and may also be applied to the International Business Management advanced diploma project at Selkirk College. 

Two student work practicums will be incorporated to provide support during the development and implementation of the diploma programs.



The current gender ratio in Georgia is 124.5 females per 100 males, with a large part of the variance attributed to a significant emigration of men.  Female headed households account for 27% of the population, with a 15.5% chance of being poor, as opposed to 12.4% for male-headed households.  Eighty percent of the semi-skilled positions are held by women, while only 32 percent of the senior management positions are held by women.  Wage discrimination is common. (Information from the CDPF, Georgia (October 2003) and World Bank website) As well, there is still little access to social services.  A conversation with Salome Namicheishvili, Founder of the Georgian Association of Social Workers, and Project Manager for EveryChild identified that there are currently only five fully training social workers in Georgia, and there is a need for a standardized social work curriculum in Georgia.

This project will adhere to the gender equality guidelines identified by ACCC and CIDA, and will particularly work within the principles of promoting equal participation of women as agents of change in economic processes, and the empowerment of women in economic development.  It addresses gender equality through the following:

  • Stipulation that 50% or more of the participants in the student governance component are female
  • That 50% (preferably more) of trainees in each program are female
  • That programs selected for implementation integrate Gender Equality in all program policies.

GTU is well versed on Gender equality issues, for example, Lali Gogeliani, the Dean for the Faculty of HydroEngineering and the lead on the PLC implementation, recently completed a project with IWise, International Women in Science and Engineering on gender equality for women in Engineering.



The mission, completed March 24, 2006 confirmed that the following scenarios presented in the CDPF still exists, particularly in the rural settlements:

  • Multigenerational families are the norm:  in the villages there are often four generations living in the same household.  Income in rural areas remains below the poverty level of $50 U.S. per month
  • The CDPF (Section 2.4.2) identified youth aged 15 to 30 as one of the key dimensions of social conditions and poverty.  The March 2006 mission met with rural youth in this age group and unfortunately there has been little movement with this age group.  Emigration is increasing, and is foremost in their minds, although when asked, they all say they would prefer to stay in their own community if there were opportunities for employment (self employment included).  The 25-29 group are now 27 to 33, and continue to remain frustrated and disillusioned with their future prospects.

This project, through the development and delivery of SME training in the rural areas will develop a knowledge base that could form the framework for  the development of SMEs, and will create opportunities for youth and other minority groups to gain the knowledge to become self employed.  Training that is relevant to job shortages will also increase employment opportunities.



For a project to have successful integration of Canadian community awareness and participation, it must resonate with that particular community.  This proposed project is generating that type of resonance.  As mentioned previously, there is a large group of Kootenay residents who trace their roots to the Georgian rural communities of Bogdanovka and Gorelovka, and maintain ties with individuals in those areas.  This proposed project has already generated interest and support from this external community, as evidenced in the accompanying letter of support.  Most of these individuals are currently at the basic awareness/understanding stage.  Although not clearly defined yet, there is a commitment of community support to the project.  For example, there is a commitment from the USCC to support technology implementation in the rural communities in ways such as donation of computers to schools.  The USCC encompasses a children and youth groups as well as seniors, business owners, educators, and politicians.  There is an opportunity here to move individuals to the personal involvement and possibly the informed actions stages. 


This project is an opportunity for the Canadian college system to be a key player in the restructuring of the Georgian education system and to forge ongoing working relationships with counterparts from Georgia and the U.S.A.  The successful implementation of the first two PLCs will determine the potential for future achievement of the government’s goal, so it is critical that GTU receives support from its Canadian and American counterparts.


The linkages of student councils and communities, of quality curriculum and new instructional approaches along with the Georgian government and partners’ allocation of top priority status to the educational reforms all speak to sustainable outcomes.  The project is designed for the DCOs to take ownership very quickly, a fact that also contributes to sustainability.


Twelve PLCs with trained, up-to-date faculty, meeting professional education needs in rural communities is a vision that speaks well to a future of sustainable economic development and poverty reduction.