The AGL Education Project is a pilot project aimed at improving the quality of English education and raising the overall English language abilities of locals in the municipalities of Shuakhevi and Khulo, both of which are affected by the construction of the Adjaritsqali Hydropower Cascade Project.
AGL is providing local English teachers with a training program focusing on English language skills and instructional strategies. The company is also conducting enrichment programs for gifted and talented high school students. These include a high school English-language essay contest and a series of afternoon English discussions and debates. Although all members of these municipalities are welcome to participate, priority will be given to students and teachers from the villages most affected by the construction.
These projects provide several significant benefits to local communities by raising the overall level of English in the region. Improving local knowledge of English will lead to a more employable workforce, which benefits both AGL and the community. The English teacher training program is helping to improve local teachers’ abilities to use, and in turn, teach the English language and encourage them to use English more confidently and more frequently in the classroom. This will enable them to create an immersive English classroom and contribute to better educational outcomes for students. The high school program offers gifted and talented young people an opportunity to make the most of their potential by challenging them to use their English abilities in a way not available to them in their regular classrooms. Activities include mock job interviews, debates, and a youth parliament.
These projects have been underway since the end of February 2015 and will last through the end of the school year in June. They are serving as the pilot for a larger project that will hopefully continue through the construction period. After receiving feedback from project participants and other stakeholders at the conclusion of the pilot in June, AGL will evaluate the success of the pilot and develop a long-term project for the 2015-2016 school year and beyond.
The project is being organized by Michael Decker, an experienced teacher with several years of experience working with Georgian schools, and Tamsyn Webster, a certified English teacher from the UK.