Millennium Challenge Corporation Impacts STEM Education in Georgia
A $140 million compact signed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the government of Georgia in July 2013 improves STEM education in Georgia. The compact, including a partnership with San Diego University (SDSU), is increasing the number of professionals in the STEM fields as well as empowering women and reducing poverty.

Georgia suffers from a lack of professionals in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. Few women delve into these fields, and gender inequality can hinder economic growth and poverty eradication.

The MCC compact will improve STEM education and raise the earning potential for Georgians. The SDSU partnership with Georgian universities gives Georgians access to earning accredited STEM degrees. Twenty percent of the first class of students in the program are women. The more that percentage rises, the more poverty rates can drop and gender gaps can close.

STEM programs are important for developing countries like Georgia because they give individuals the skills that they need to make critical decisions about problems in our world, such as lowering environmental impact while improving standards of living.

As the former Director General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research stated, STEM education will help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and to help people make decisions that affect global development.

The MMC compact to improve STEM education in Georgia is only one of many compacts that are giving nations worldwide more access to development opportunities. If Congress passes the Millennium Compacts for Regional Economic Integration Act (M-CORE Act), nations would be permitted to enter into a second Millennium Challenge Compact and reap the benefits of the additional development efforts.

In order for nations to get a second compact, one or more of the compacts must meet specific economic qualifications, and the nation must show progress with its current compact. Supporting the M-CORE Act is supporting poverty reduction and increased economic opportunity for developing nations.

If Congress passes the M-CORE Act, the MCC can implement more opportunities like STEM education in Georgia and increase development efforts worldwide.

Addie Pazzynski

Photo: Flickr