GE

[6-09.2019-EN] Weekly overview of educational affairs in Georgia (in English)

30/08/2019 – 05/09/2019

EDU.ARIS.GE
For professional use

Pilot edition

 

Preschool Education

The 2019-2020 educational years will start in Tbilisi nursery institutions on September 16.

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The potential Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia in his government program has stated that “the fundamental reform of education starts at the preschool level. The nursery institutions will be transformed into preschool education institutions where the national quality standards of education will be introduced…” The reform will also cover the issues of the inclusive education, safe environment, infrastructure development and staff training, attraction of new personnel and so on.

General Education

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Last week, schools were interviewing job applicants. Many schools have problems with filling vacancies before the start of the school year. According to the education officials, about 6,000 teachers have left schools in the frames of the so-called award program and the general education is facing a challenge of recruiting new staff. The interviews should also be attended by the representatives of the National Center for Teacher Professional Development. The statements made on social networks confirm that at some schools this process was conducted with civil and practical approaches but in many cases it lacked transparency and objectivity, and moreover was unfriendly and nepotic.

The answers to the questions of how schools have coped with this challenge and what is the diagnosis, are still unknown, but the issue really requires assessment.

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On August 30, the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia discussed the legislative changes that would regulate transportation of school children by car during field trips.

Changes are also planned in the Code of Administrative Offenses, according to which violations of the rule of safe transportation of students by the driver to a school event will be subjected to penalties.

Also, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports should draft the rules for safe transportation of children to a school event by November 1, 2019 and ensure its approval.

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The new government program, presented by the potential Prime Minister of Georgia to the Parliament, provides for that on the general education level “the focus will be made on preparing students for future life and building a democratic society”. The program describes the “new school model” and its objectives: “Development of school culture and support of school teachers will be provided at schools”. The new school model also covers enhancing the quality and scale of inclusive education in schools; development of school infrastructure; teachers’ professional growth and rise in their salaries.

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At the committee hearing in the Parliament of Georgia the potential Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia Mikheil Batiashvili talked about the planned changes to the textbooks: “We will have new initiatives that will radically change and improve the quality of textbooks. The whole summer through we were in intensive consultations with representatives of the field, working on a new form of approval, and the changes we offer will have a positive impact on each school and the quality of each textbook”.

The need for change in this area has become imminent for a long time. To make the said summer processes more transparent to the public, this statement should have more grounds. So far, this summer has been associated with the obscure and question-making process of Iakob Gogebashvili’s “Deda Ena” revision.

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From the 2019-2020 school years, the resource officers will present at 41 more public schools in the regions. At the beginning of the school year, a total of 527 schools across Georgia will have resource officers. By the end of the school year, this number will increase by 61 more public schools;

Vocational Education

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The government program presented by the potential Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia in the Parliament of Georgia sets the following benchmarks of the vocational education in the government program:

Rapid and effective training of human resources tailored to the needs of the labor market; receiving general education in parallel to the studies, as a prerequisite for continuing education; implementation of “short cycle” programs, which is an international commitment of our country; priority of the Entrepreneurial Education; availability of vocational training and retraining for the adults; introduction of informal education recognition mechanisms; upgrading of vocational education quality improvement tools; teachers’ professional growth.
However, the program says nothing about the need to increase and promote the attractiveness of vocational education.

Higher Education

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According to the results of the 2019 Unified National Exams, 28,740 entrants will become students after completing the relevant procedure – registration in the higher education imitations. The number of the entrants makes 71% of the total number of applicants for exams.

According to the results of the Unified National Exams, total 6,546 students have received state grants this year, where 1,011 students with 100 % grant, 1,452 students with 70% grant, 4,083 – with 50% grant. 4,777 students were enrolled in state-funded programs, 1,335 – in Georgian language training programs.

The highest competition this year was in the areas of business administration, law and medicine.

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The Government of Georgia has allocated 2,520,000 GEL for funding social programs in higher education institutions for the 2019-2020 academic years. The grant is designed for those who study on the programs which are accredited based on the Unified National Exams.

The information of who will be the grantee and under what conditions is provided in Resolution N 401 of the Government of Georgia adopted on August 20, 2019.

Other News

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Last week, the National Assessment and Examinations Center itself faced the assessment process. The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport evaluated the work done by the staff of the Center as successful, improved qualitatively; he thanked them and reminded of the November exams.

Public opinion on the activities of the Center is diverse. The Center’s decision to lower the barrier for the first variant of the Georgian Language and Literature Exam from 18 to 9 points and the Center representative’s “substantiation” of this decision have prompted negative reviews and outrage in social networks and the media. Of courses, the responsibility for the complexity of the test compared with the other variants lies with the center, but if the entrant fails to understand the rubric properly, it shall be his or her responsibility. Anyway, talking about a quality, objective examination process is not credible in this situation.

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With the resignation of Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Government is also automatically dismissed. Consequently, the process of gaining the confidence by the new government has begun in the Parliament of Georgia and shall finish by a final vote on September 8. The potential Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia presented the new cabinet and the government program for 2019-2020 to the Parliament. Mikheil Batiashvili is again nominated for the post of Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport. In his turn, Mikhail Batiashvili presented his report and the program to the parliamentary committees and by voting for a single candidate gained the committees’ confidence.

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Mariam Jashi, the chairwoman of the Parliamentary Committee for Education and Science, stated with regard to the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport that “if the position is discussed at the government level, I will support the separation of the cultural sphere from the united ministry”. She said that last year, when the issue of integration of the ministries had been discussed, she had opposed such integration because she foresaw future hindrances.

It seems that the United Ministry is pending the fate of the retired Prime Minister.

[6-09.2019-GE] – საგანმანათლებლო ამბების ყოველკვირეული მიმოხილვა (ქართულად)

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