The American Academy in Tbilisi
In 1991, Georgia had a highly educated population, with almost universal basic literacy (99%) and the highest percentage of university graduates in the region. With the collapse of the Georgian economy in the first years of independence, funding for the education sector declined sharply. Schools are in disrepair, teachers go unpaid and the educational models do not reflect democratic principles. Rebuilding the educational system and better preparing students to meet the demands of a market economy are critical to ensuring a prosperous, stable and democratic Georgia.
The American Academy in Tbilisi was founded to assist in reversing the trend in education and to instill ethical and moral values and behaviors at an early age. The Academy is a model secondary school based on American educational principles. It is an English-language, private, coeducational high school dedicated to making Western education, teaching techniques and technology available to gifted Georgian students and to preparing the next generation of Georgian leaders.
The Academy has widespread support in Georgia. 14,000 Georgians petitioned the U.S Embassy for the inauguration of the Academy.
The Academy opened in September 2001 for the 9th grade. Additional grades 10-12 will be added, one grade each year, as more teachers return from their U.S. training. Ultimately, the Academy will enroll 200 students by 2004. General John M. Shalikashvili, Honorary Board Member gave the opening keynote address. President Shevardnadze, Former Chairman Zurab Zhvania and His Holiness, Ilia II, were all in attendance.
The Academy differs from other schools in Georgia in three ways.
Tuition is $3,000 per year. Currently ten need-based scholarships have been made available. The Academy is committed to ensuring that eventually the Academy will be accessible to all students regardless of ability to pay.
American Academy Board of Trustees:
Support for the Academy is provided by:
Georgian Association in the USA, Inc. (Manages two grants totaling $750,000 from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and has provided nearly $100,000 in in-kind contributions to the project)
Georgian Businesses and Individuals. TBC Group, GCG Consulting, Chevron, Bank of Georgia, Georgian Telecom, Hotel Tbilisi, GWS, ALDAGI, Republic Bank, Microfinance Bank, Bagrationi-1882, Samgori-94 (Over $300,000 has been raised for Academy building renovation, equipment, furniture, salaries and operating expenses.)
Harvard University and Simmons College (partial scholarships for teacher training).
Phillips Exeter Academy (internships for Academy teachers)
Open Society Georgia Foundation (teacher transportation expenses)
How You Can Help:
Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the Georgian Association to provide scholarships, textbooks or other support for the Academy to ensure that the Academy can provide the best of Western education and technology to strengthen the next generation of Georgian leaders. For more information, contact the Georgian Association office.