Council of Europe in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and the Solidarity Fund PL in Georgia supports piloting School Participatory Budgeting methodology (School PB) for the first time in Georgia. Tbilisi public school No. 177 and Zestaphoni public school No. 4 will be the first schools in Georgia to apply the methodology.
School PB is an innovative tool for youth participation, which is currently actively used around the world for promoting youth engagement in decision-making. The methodology helps youth to improve their leadership competencies and teaches them how to develop projects, how to get involved in planning a school budget and ultimately have an impact on the decisions affecting them at schools. School PB methodology successfully contributes to active citizenship and civil participation in local communities.
The pilot phase of the methodology began with the expert camp, which was held in Tbilisi on 29 June - 1 July and brought together relevant stakeholders to explore how to adapt the methodology to the Georgian framework. The Expert camp gathered 24 individuals from the education sector, municipalities, teachers and schoolchildren from Tbilisi and Zestaphoni pilot schools. Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia is the key partner to support schools in introducing the School PB and promoting participatory culture among the schoolchildren.
During the event, participants had an opportunity to get to know good practices of school PB from Ukraine and other countries, they worked in small groups to explore the applicability of international practises to the Georgian context, potential risks and challenges, and the financial model of the SPB that could function in Georgia.
Based on the conclusions and recommendations from the expert camp, adapted School PB model will be developed along with a package of necessary regulatory documents for the application of the methodology in Georgia.
The event was organised in the framework of the project “Strengthening Participatory Democracy and Human Rights at Local Level in Georgia”, by the Directorate General of Democracy and Human Dignity, Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy, within the Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023 with the financial contribution of the Austrian Development Cooperation.