On 4 – 8 June 10 teachers from all over Georgia visited Estonia to get acquainted with the Estonian education system, including initiatives and reform experiences. The study visit was part of the yearly project “Teacher – Guide to Europe” organised by the Information Center on NATO and EU. The aim of the project is to encourage teachers to engage their students in researching and learning about European values and EU-Georgia relations.
The Information Center on NATO and EU held a competition for teachers and students from all over Georgia to conduct a project on Georgia’s European integration among hundreds of which 10 best projects were chosen and awarded. The teachers in charge of the winning projects were granted the opportunity to participate in a 5-day study visit to Estonia which was organised in cooperation with the Embassy of Estonia in Georgia and the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership.
The busy programme included visits to the schools of Peetri and Viljandi where the teachers had the opportunity to tour the modern facilities and to hear about the the guiding principles of each school. The most prevalent innovative approaches in Estonian education were introduced by the editor of the Estonian teachers newspaper, Mr Raivo Juurak. Ms Maria Abel of Junior Achievement Eesti provided insight into student enterprises, Ms Teibi Torm of Back to School and Substitute Teachers programmes talked about how to engage new people to temporarily teach and provide fresh ideas, and Ms Viktoria Rudenko of Mondo WorldSchool introduced a teaching approach which covers a variety of globally relevant topics including sustainable development. At Innove, analysist Mr Einar Rull gave a very detailed and thorough overview of the Estonian education system in a global context as well as in comparison to Georgia. Besides education, the teachers were able to get acquainted with the Estonian Parliament and meet with the former teacher-now MP, Mr Toomas Jürgenstein. In order to gain an understanding of the impact European integration has had on a small regional city, the study visit also included a trip to the city of Viljandi where the former mayor, Mr Ando Kiviberg was the teachers’ guide for the day.
Study Visit of Teachers from Georgia