Batiashvili Introduces New, Reform-Oriented Team

Mikheil Batiashvili, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, held a special briefing on Thursday to discuss the recent personnel changes in the Ministry and presented the staff changes to the public. Batiashvili wished his new employees success and emphasized that the success of the new education reforms lies in their hands. Since taking office in mid-July, Batiashvili has designed a complete transformation of Georgian education and has been quickly making changes in the Ministry, including many staff changes.

“We plan to implement a 5-level reform that involves the integration of preschool education, school education, vocational education, higher education and science, the introduction of innovative education systems, and more importantly, the deepening of close ties between education and economics. I am sure Minister Batiashvili will be able to implement these very important reforms,” said Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze when he appointed Batiashvili to his position.

Batiashvili appointed Natia Zedgenidze-Jishkariani to the position of Deputy Minister, who will be responsible for coordinating and controlling all administrative activities within the Ministry.

Zedginidze-Jishkariani has 20 years’ experience working as a manager in the private and public sector. She worked at the Parliament of Georgia as the Head of Office for the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. She has academic experience in various Georgian higher education institutions and has participated in many professional development programs including at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Maastricht University in The Netherlands. Current Deputy Minister Aleksandre Tevzadze announced that he will leave his position at the Ministry after October 31.

Zviad Gabisonia will become the new General Director of the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation. Gabisonia has worked in academia at several higher education institutions for the past 19 years. His experience includes top positions in the private sector – particularly with companies working in the legal field.

Gabisonia, who holds an academic doctorate in legal sciences, has degrees from Bremen University and the University of Bonn. He also held a scientific internship at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

Berika Shukakidze, to be the next Director of the National Center for Teachers’ Professional Development, has a doctorate in Education from Ilia State University and a master's degree in Education Management and Supervision from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has 23 years’ experience in education as an associate professor and researcher, and is the author of more than 10 academic articles.

Giorgi Vashakidze has been appointed director of the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement. He has a JD from the University of Hamburg and is the author of many monographs and articles. Vashakidze has more than 10 years’ work experience in international, private, and public management positions. He has worked in academia for the past nine years and has served as an expert on projects for UNDP and USAID as well as being a board member for the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.

Sophia Gorgodze will be the new director of the National Assessment and Examination Center. She has 14 years’ experience in the education system. In the field of education management, Gorgodze has held senior positions and provided advisory services in the public sector and for national and international non-governmental organizations. She has administered training courses at various institutes of higher education on the subjects of education policy, assessments, and education studies. Gorgodze has served as the Georgian delegate on the Council of Europe's General Education Committee. She has a master’s in International Education Policy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education and a doctorate from Ilia State University. Gorgodze has published several articles on education in international and Georgian publications.

The newly appointed directors were selected through a publicly announced, open competition for the vacant positions.

In August, Batiashvili established a working group on the education system reform that includes a variety of stakeholders. Last month, together with Prime Minister Bakhtadze, Batiashvili announced more details of his education reform strategy. The strategy includes a focus on the regions outside of Tbilisi, increased access to and availability of vocational education programs, a new model for financing, and further integration in the European architecture of higher education.

By Samantha Guthrie

Image source: Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport

08 October 2018 18:00