On December 20, we, in the course of the USAID Economic Governance Program, in partnership with the Vocational Skills Agency, held the 3rd meeting of a public-private partnership (PPP) platform on information and communications technology (ICT). The meeting was part of the “Piloting New Public and Private Sectors’ Collaboration Mechanism for VET Program Development” project.
Dr. Giorgi Khishtovani, Research Director at PMC Research Center (PMC RC), opened the meeting, and made remarks about the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors, and stressed that the continuation and further optimization of this process would be critical to enhancing vocational education in Georgia.
During the meeting, the curriculum of a new cybersecurity educational program was outlined, which was jointly developed by University of Georgia Professional College (UG College) and the ICT company GreenNet in cooperation with VET expert Diana Gakharia and cybersecurity consultant Nata Goderdzishvili.
The presentation started with a situational analysis presented by cybersecurity Goderdzishvili who explained the need to develop a program on cybersecurity. She highlighted a significant shortage of personnel in the cybersecurity market, as well as the scarcity of educational programs in this field. The presentation was continued by Gakharia, who talked about the newly-developed program curriculum. Finally, the UG College, which, together with GreenNet, will implement the program, was introduced with details presented about its ongoing programs, infrastructure, local and international partners, and future plans.
“It was important to emphasize the lack of cybersecurity experts in the Georgian labor market, meaning that it would be essential to implement more projects aimed at preparing qualified cybersecurity specialists,” said Nika Kapanadze, Researcher at PMC RC.
After the presentation, members of the PPP platform and other participants of the meetings had the opportunity to ask the experts, consultants, and college representative questions about the training program. The questions touched upon various aspects including the replication of the program in the regions, as well as the training of teachers. In addition, valuable comments and advice regarding the developed program’s curriculum were given by the PPP platform members and the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement (NCEQE) representatives.
PMC RC is in the process of piloting new public and private sector cooperation mechanisms to develop upskilling and reskilling VET programs in the ICT sector. The aim of doing so is to tackle the mismatch between demand and supply of human resources as, currently, the education sector is not capable of supplying enough qualified ICT specialists to the private sector.
“We received valuable comments and advice regarding the developed program’s curriculum from the platform's members which we will surely consider during the curriculum’s finalization,” said Gakharia.