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Partner profile: Georgia – a new NGO committed to bringing economic literacy to the nation’s education system

In late 2021, three driven young economists, fueled by a shared passion to improve national standards of economic and financial education, formed the Georgian Economic Literacy Initiative GELi. Recognizing the importance of understanding economics and finance in everyday life, they embarked on a mission to make these subjects more accessible and relevant to everyone. GELi envisions a future where economic literacy is integrated into the national educational system, empowering individuals to make informed financial decisions and to contribute actively to Georgia's economic development.

GELi’s founders are all experienced teachers of economics and finance at universities both in Georgia and other countries. With the support of the Economic Fundamentals Initiative, in a remarkably short space of time GELi has made impressive strides in advancing its mission, designing a host of inspiring programs for teachers and students, and engaging with national organizations to effect change.

GELi is finding innovative ways to excite students to explore economics and finance: it has designed and is teaching a mandatory economics course to students at Tbilisi’s Komarov School and Sachkhere #2 Public school, which inspired the development of EFI’s Teacher Toolkit. So far, 500 students have already taken the course. A Financial Literacy Tour reached 2,600 high school students in 10 regions. Last year, GELi introduced to Georgia the Economics Olympiad, an international high school competition. 1,300 high school students across 200 schools took part and this number is expected to increase significantly this year. And in 2023, the Zarzma Monastery Academy project was launched, an initiative for school students in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, which aims to provide them with valuable economic education. Forty school students are currently enrolled in an economics class taught three times a week, which allows them to delve into the fundamentals of economics and explore its real-world applications.

GELi also provides innovative professional development opportunities for teachers: 100 teachers have already participated in a workshop "How to teach economics", while more than 200 teachers of a range of subjects from geography and civic education to mathematics and history, also participated in "Economics in other subjects" workshops.

Supported by EFI and media platform Orjer Ori, GELi has produced "Five Minutes About Economics," a video project which explores complex topics in bite-sized segments, thereby empowering viewers to grasp fundamental economic principles in a concise and engaging manner.

Today, GELi is collaborating closely with the Ministry of Education to develop a comprehensive curriculum for civic education classes, placing significant emphasis on integrating economics. The team is also preparing a report to underscore the importance of incorporating economics in school education and will outline various strategies and methodologies for effectively teaching the subject in schools. GELi is also creating tailored study materials for vocational education agencies and institutions.

GELi has formed a range of strategic partnerships including the Bank of Georgia, Business Media Georgia, Free University, PH International and Orjer ori. These partnerships have been instrumental in expanding the reach of GELi's initiatives.

Bakari Baratashvili, co-founder and director of GELi, comments: “Our aim is that Georgian citizens should understand the fundamentals of economic prosperity, the importance of free markets and the role of limited government as well as the principles of making sensible personal economic decisions and long-term financial planning. EFI’s dedication to promoting economic education helps GELi to stay focused on the path of achieving its mission and helping Georgian citizens to be economically literate and informed contributors in the economic, social and political life of our country."

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