The Eastern Partnership European School programme held the Graduation Ceremony for its first cohort of students. The virtual ceremony, hosted by New School – International School of Georgia – a partner school of the Programme, was joined by the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia Mr. Mikheil Chkhenkeli, European Commissioner for Budget and Administration Mr. Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Neighbourhod and Enlargement Mr. Olivér Várhelyi, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS Ms. Grete Faremo and other dignitaries. The event took place via Zoom platform and was virtually attended by up to 1000 guests.
“I believe that education received at Eastern Partnership European School in Georgia will lay an excellent foundation to your future endeavors. I wish you life full of opportunities to achieve personal, social and professional success and become active citizens of your countries. Education based on core European values will be the most valuable investment in your future,” said Minister Chkhenkeli in his address to the students.
The class of 2020 of the programme comprises 30 students from six Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. All students, among them 20 girls, graduated with the IB Diploma and will pursue their higher education studies in Universities of Europe, the United States and their home countries.
“The European Union will definitely continue investing in youth and in their education. Therefore, fostering new education opportunities to encourage young people is and was my ambition already in the previous mandate as the Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement”, – said EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn in his live address at today’s virtual graduation ceremony. “So, I am honored in particular to be with you today because some of the brightest students from the region receive their diploma.”
The Eastern Partnership European School Programme is the first phase of a wider initiative by the European Union (EU) for the six Eastern Partnership countries, to address the needs of youth, focusing on secondary education. Currently, 65 students study on the programme, with a new cohort of up to 40 students joining in September 2020.
“Investing in youth is always the best investment. Supporting education will be among the priorities of the Eastern Partnership policy in the years to come. The European school in Georgia will continue to be at the heart of our work,” said Commissioner Vahrelyi in his remarks. “The success of today’s graduating class demonstrates that together, even in the midst of the unprecedented global pandemic, and thanks to the efforts of each student, we can create value to rely on.”
The Eastern Partnership European School is funded by the European Union and offers high quality education to pupils from Eastern Partnership countries to increase their educational and employment opportunities, fostering co-operation, multi-cultural understanding, tolerance, and fundamental values, and promoting a better understanding of the EU and its engagement in the region. The programme is implemented by UNOPS.
“It is a proud moment for us at UNOPS to see the first graduates of the Eastern Partnership European School Scholarship Programme, a remarkable programme, funded by the EU, that invests in young people who can change the world for the better. We are delighted to have played our part, guided by the values of the United Nations, and by our collective ambition to contribute to a sustainable future,” said Greta Faremo, Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS in her address to the students.
The overall objective of the Project is to promote secondary education opportunities in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood. Its specific objective is to provide an International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) with a focus on European Studies through a competitive and merit-based Scholarship Programme. The Diploma Programme targets pupils in the two upper grades of the secondary level education and offers a unique IB curriculum with the European-focused teaching in the areas of history, politics, economics as well as languages, arts and culture.
The project is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UNOPS in partnership with the New School – International School of Georgia, Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and International Baccalaureate (IB).