CENN, with the financial support of the Austrian Development Cooperation, hosted the final event of the youth environmental competition, the Niko Ketskhoveli School Awards.
32 school eco-clubs from Georgia participating in the final presented important environmental and social activities implemented in their cities or villages during the year to jury members and invited guests.
The winners are as follows:
1st place – Marneuli Public School #2
2nd place – Gori Public School #9
3rd place – Letsitskhvaie Village Public School
The winning schools will be given financial awards for improving their school environments:
1st place winner – 5,000 GEL
2nd place winner – 4,000 GEL
3rd place winner – 3,000 GEL
Furthermore, competition partners announced their chosen eco-clubs and awarded them with special prizes:
The Ministry of Education and Science gave 200 GEL book vouchers to 10 chosen schools and 500, 400, and 300 GEL equipment vouchers to 3 selected schools.
The chosen schools of the Ministry of Education and Science were:
Marneuli Public School #2, Gori Public School #9, Letsitskhvaie Village Public School, Tbilisi Public School #45, Khashuri Public School #1, Shulaveri Public School #1, Georgian-American School “Progress”, Tbilisi Public School #199, Tkhilnari Village Public School, Baghdati Public School, Tbilisi Public School #137, Kutaisi Public School #13, St. Alexi Shushania Orthodox School-College.
The National Forest Agency’s nominee was Tbilisi Public School #45, whose eco-club will be awarded with a multi-functional projector for the eco-club laboratory.
Karlo Amirgulashvili, a long-standing jury member, revealed the nominated school of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture as Marneuli Public School #2. As a prize, eco-club members have a chance to be Ministers of Environmental Protection for a day.
The Green Award by the Environmental Information and Education Centre was awarded to Eter Getsadze, a teacher from Afeni Public School. The centre also revealed its favourite eco-speaker as Aleksandre Benidze, the Letsitskhvaie Public School leader. He was awarded with a bookshop voucher for 200 GEL.
The nominee of The Ministry of Education and Culture of the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia was Abkhazia Public School #10, whose eco-club will be awarded with a gift card valued at 500 GEL.
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Ajara awarded Tikhilnari, Zemo Tikhilnari, and Chakvi #1 Public School with gift bags.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) awarded two winning schools of the competition – “Bees as a source of life” – carried out within the framework of the Niko Ketskhoveli School Award. Each participant of the Gori #9 Public School Eco-club received a smartphone as a gift. A projector, a projector screen, and smartphones for each member of the eco-club were given to Khajalia Public School.
Ilia State University gave vouchers for Ligamus book house and gift bags to their favourite school – Marneuli Public School #2.
Energo Pro Georgia awarded a 1,200 GEL grant to the Badiauri Public School for the establishment of a Meteorological Laboratory as well as an Educational Trip to the Zemo Avchala hydroelectric scheme (ZAHES).
The Association of Farmers of Georgia has recognized two schools, Afeni #1 Public School and St. Alexi Shushania Orthodox School-College, with awards. Representatives from the association will visit these selected schools to conduct informational sessions for students interested in Agricultural Waste Management. During these sessions, a mobile laboratory will be presented, and analyses will be conducted on samples collected from school grounds, with direct participation from eco club members. Additionally, in coordination with the schools, saplings of various species will be planted on school property.
Winery-Khareba awarded two of their favourite eco-clubs – Chkhoria Public School and St. Alexi Shushania Orthodox School-College with a cash prize of 500 GEL.
Radisson Blu Iveria selected Tbilisi Public School #45 as their favourite and gifted its members with a visit to one of the hotel’s restaurants.
CENN, in addition to recognizing the winners, also selected two eco-clubs to receive 200 GEL Biblus gift vouchers as awards.
The ‘Green Guria’ project, run by the organization CENN, awarded Naruja Village Public School with a one-day educational tour of Kolkheti National Park.
The city halls of Sagarejo, Telavi, Zugdidi, and Gori municipalities granted various awards to their schools as well.
During the opening, speeches were given by: Laurent G. NICOLE – Executive Director, CENN; Tamar Makharashvili – First Deputy Minister of Education and Science; Thomas Mühlmann – The Ambassador of the Republic of Austria to Georgia; Tamar Aladashvili – Director of Environmental Information and Education Centre; Sabine Machl – UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia; Nana Janashia – Executive Director, CENN.
At the final meeting, the members of the jury were presented and the participants were evaluated by: Karlo Amirgulashvili – Head of the Biodiversity and Forest Department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia; Natia Iordanishvili – Deputy Head of the National Forestry Agency; Tamar Aladashvili – Director of Environmental Information and Education Centre; Eka Targamadze – Chief Specialist of Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia; Muro Takalandze – Communications Manager at United Nations Association of Georgia; Lado Apkhazava – Ambassador of the Niko Ketskhoveli School Award and Teacher of the Year (2019); Marine Mosulishvili – Associate Professor of Ilia State University’s School Of Natural Sciences And Medicine.
CENN implements the Niko Ketskhoveli School Award within the framework of the Sustainable Forest Management for Rural Development project, with financial support provided by the Austrian Development Cooperation. The co-organizers of the competition are the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, the Ministry of Education and Science, and the Parliament of Georgia.