Integrity Action awarded a small grant to the Library-Cultural Centre for Persons with Disabilities - known as ”Tanadgoma” - to conduct, together with the Georgian Technical University (GTU), an Autumn Camp in Tbilisi, organised by GTU Associate Professor Khatuna Chapichadze. The Integrity Camp took place at “Tanadgoma”, hosting 13 participants, 11 GTU students and 2 beneficiaries of ”Tanadgoma”. The camp included thematic study sessions on Integrity, corruption and anti corruption. The participants were also introduced to various CIB and Social Accountability tools with special emphasis on Citizen Report Cards.
As part of the camp, students conducted a survey of 500 students (445 responded), about their satisfaction with the services the university provides, problems that need resolution and how possible it is for the students with disabilities to get a full education and be involved in the GTU activities. Following on from this survey, they are setting up an Integrity Club at the university with the participation of the European studies, International Relations, Business Administration, PR and Law Departments, as well as other interested students of GTU.
Some of the problems that students identified in the surveys are: logistics problems, such as a lack of chairs, smoking, infrastructure problems and numerous others. Moreover there are some integrity problems such as the lecturers not being strict enough, favouritism when assessing students, cases of nepotism, etc.
They are now at the stage of working out how to connect with the administration in order to form a joint working group of main institutional stakeholders – administrators, faculty, employees and students - to resolve the problems and strengthen integrity within the university.
The participants of the Camp expressed their interest and willingness to be part of this initiative and actively participate, especially in organising and leading consultations for other students/professors/GTU staff members on integrity problems at GTU.
During and after the GTU students’ Integrity Autumn Camp, a significant number of students expressed their interest in contributing to the work of the GTU Integrity Club.
Khatuna Chapichadze and some of her colleagues from different universities in Georgia are working together on elaborating integrity education syllabi and introducing the new integrity-related topics into the existing educational curricula, with support from Integrity Action.