U.S. government’s foreign aid agency, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), approved on June 19 a five year USD 140 million program for Georgia, which will be focused on development of country’s science and technology education.
MCC completed its first five-year, USD 395.3 million program with Georgia in March 2011, which was mainly focused on infrastructure development. In January, 2011 MCC selected Georgia eligible to develop proposal for package of grants for the second compact.
“For its subsequent compact, the Government of Georgia conducted an analysis that identified the quality of human capital as a binding constraint to economic growth, particularly acute in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM),” MCC said.
“To improve the quality of education in these fields and increase earning potential, the proposed compact will make strategic investments from the start of a student’s general education to graduation from technical training and advanced degree programs, including a focus on increasing women’s participation in STEM professions,” it said.
The second compact, which is expected to be signed this summer, consists of three projects – Improving General Education Quality Project, designed to increase quality of general education through rehabilitation of deteriorating schools, training for educators and school managers; the Industry-Led Skills and Workforce Development Project, which will aim at improving the link between market-demanded skills and the supply of Georgians with those technical skills; the STEM Higher Education Project, designed to attract one or more American university partners to modernize science, technology, engineering, and math education by offering high-quality degree programs.
“One of the key ingredients to economic growth is equipping citizens with the education and skills they need to succeed in a modernizing economy,” MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes said.
MCC said that during its meeting on June 19 the agency’s board of directors, chaired by Secretary of State John Kerry, noted “importance of Georgia maintaining its commitment to good governance throughout its partnership with MCC.”