PM Introduces New Education System Strategy

Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze believes that the way to solve the issues and challenges that Georgia currently faces, ie. occupied territories, poverty and social problems, is through the development of the educational system.

“Modernizing the system of education, the development and introduction of a strong fundamental educational system, is the main precondition for Georgia to overcome these obstacles,” he said.

The PM made the statement at the presentation of the new educational system strategy at Ikalto Academy, one of the most significant cultural-scholastic centers of Georgia in the 11-13th centuries.

According to Bakhtadze, the new educational reform envisages a five-year cycle from 2018 to 2023, as a result of which the educational system will be moved closer to the European system of education.

The PM said that in autumn 2019, the government will propose a legislative package addressing the crucial issue of transforming education into the dominant sector in the economy, making sure that the educational sector enjoys at least 10-11% of the GDP.

“No country or economy in the 21st century will be successful without building on the creation of human capital. Consequently, our objective for the educational reform is to put in place human capital in Georgia, to create systems which will place Georgia among developed economies,” Bakhtadze stated.

According to the PM, the educational reform will cover five directions: early and preschool education, general education, vocational education, higher education, and science.

“Special attention will be paid to preschool education, because education at an earlier age will later reflect at subsequent levels of development. Unfortunately, preschool education is not part of the overall educational system today, which is a grievous mistake which we will be correcting,” he noted.

As for general education, according to Bakhtadze, in 2019, a new model of learning will be launched in 50 public schools.

“By 2030, this model will be fully adopted by more than 2,000 schools…All schools in Georgia must meet the highest standards. This reform will produce a new school model, a mix of the best international experience and Georgia's actual environment, along with the experience of Georgian scientific and pedagogical experience,” he underlined, adding that in the 2018-2019 academic year, about 10,000 teachers will enjoy a raise and promising that by 2022, the average schoolteacher’s salary will be tripled.

Bakhtadze says it will be one of the most important directions in the reform, focusing on the needs of regional development and rapid employment.

“We will seek to rapidly increase in the number of students in the regions and develop vocational education centers,” he added.

In the direction of higher education, the PM plans to introduce a new model for financing, and integration in the European architecture of higher education.

“A portal for electronic educational resources will be created and the system will employ block chain technologies to ensure a higher degree of reliability, top transparency standards, while saving finances, simplifying relevant processes, and focusing on fast results,” he added.

Bakhtadze said Georgia is a part of European civilization, adding the country strives to return to its family.

Education Minister Mikheil Batiashvili also delivered speech at the presentation. He said the first stage of the reform is starting this year and is to last through 2019. It envisages an increase of number of vocational educational institutions in 13 municipalities.

The second phase of the reform will be implemented in 2020-2023, when joint programs with international universities will be introduced and the number of foreign students will increase by 50 thousand students as a result of the targeted programs.

At the first stage of the reform, the target funding is planned to support high standard international scientific publications and actively engage Georgian scientists in the International Mobility Program of Science.

“The second stage of the reform envisages getting membership in international scientific and educational projects such as Academia Europea, EU Joint Research Center, COST, H2020 / Horizon Europe, Japan JNR / COMET, CERN / ATLAS / CMS and thus increase the number of Georgian scholars involved in these projects. In addition, a modern electronic system of science will be created, which will significantly help to develop this field,” the Minister said.

By Thea Morrison

17 September 2018 20:27