The Project “Democracy Starts in Schools – Engaging School Children in Decision Making Processes in Schools and Communities in Georgia” is implemented by the Council of Europe in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The objective of the Project is to strengthen democracy in Georgia through increased participation of young people in the decision-making processes at the local level through democratic citizenship education and practices in schools.

The project is based on the Council of Europe approach to civic education: a holistic view on knowledge, skills, values and attitudes, a focus on democratic school development and an integration of young people’s civic experiences in the wider community.

The project will support the national education authorities of Georgia to implement a series of measures that are needed to create more opportunities for participation for school children and motivate them to take part in the decision-making processes in schools and communities. More specifically, the project will help develop methodological guidance for schools on the democratic school governance, will support school directors as key actors in this process and enable them to provide strategic leadership, will support school projects implemented in partnership with civil society organisations and other community actors, and will support school children in developing and implementing projects in their schools and communities.

Expected results/outcomes: Expected results/outcomes:
  • Educational institutions and educational staff develop school children’s competences for democratic culture.
  • Schoolgirls and schoolboys exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities by participating in the decision-making processes in their schools and communities.
Partners and Beneficiaries Partners and Beneficiaries

Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia

National Center for Teacher Professional Development

Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Duration Duration

22 months, 1 March 2022-31 December 2023

Budget Budget

700 000 EUR

The Project is implemented by the Council of Europe with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)

Activities/Outputs: Activities/Outputs:
  • Policy recommendations on strengthening the legislative and policy framework for the democratic governance of schools will be developed jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and other stakeholders.
  • Methodological guidelines on strengthening democratic school governance in schools will be developed and piloted in schools.
  • Capacity building: a professional development programme (training, mentoring and peer exchange) for school directors and teachers on democratic citizenship education and the democratic school governance will be developed and delivered.
  • School projects: Schools will partner with civil society organisations and other community stakeholders to develop and implement projects linked to learning outcomes and addressing key problems in the community through a small grants scheme for civil society organisations.
  • School children peer exchanges: best practices in democratic school governance will be shared within a national conference dedicated to school children participation in schools and communities and one study visit to Moldova. Two summer academies for school children on democracy and human rights and project management will be organized.
  • A national Democratic and Inclusive School Network for sharing and promoting best practices in democratic school governance will be set up.
  • Awareness raising: a national conference to launch the project will be organized, as well as communication activities to highlight the role of education in developing competences for democratic culture in school children.