WorldAtlas Lists Georgia among Countries with Worst Education Systems

Ahead of the UN-initiated International Day of Education on January 24, international organization WorldAtlas has published a list of countries with the worst education systems, which includes Georgia.

On the list of countries with poor education, which is led by Equatorial Guinea, Myanmar and the Central African Republic, Georgia takes 25th place.

WorldAtlas says that government expenditure on education as part of each country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is an indicator of the importance nations place on education in their budgetary considerations.

“This figure is achieved by summing the total of all government expenditures for educational purposes, both public and private. This is not limited to instruction services, but also includes any ancillary services provided for students. Provisions for research performed by educational institutions may also be included,” the report reads.

The organization noted that many countries have demonstrated a great deal of oversight by underestimating the importance of education, and thus have failed to invest adequately in their educational infrastructures.

Georgia’s Education Minister Mikhail Batiashvili admits that there are flaws in the education system, but says he doubts the accuracy of the WorldAtlas statistics.

“This is not an organization which has a high reputation in the education field…Countries which have the best education systems were also included on the list, so this survey raises doubts about the trustworthiness,” Batiashvili said.

Analysts believe that Georgia needs to increase funds for education in order to improve the system as a whole.

Education researcher Mariam Mosiashvili believes not only funding but also efficiently using the allocated money is very important for the proper functioning of the education system.

“How the government spends money on education and whether it implements education development programs is of utmost importance for advancing the education quality and level in Georgia,” she noted, adding that it is necessary to decentralized schools rather than increase control of them. “This would reduce the existent political influence on our schools,” she said.

Analyst Revaz Apkhazava says equipping schools with modern technologies is not enough when the country lacks good teachers.

“If the teachers do not use the latest equipment bought by the schools, the money is wasted. It is necessary to increase the salaries of the teachers to motivate them. We also need to introduce new specialists who use different programs to teach the students,” he said.

The Georgian education system consists of the following main fields:

• Early and pre-school education

• Secondary education

• Higher education

• Vocational education

• Science, Technology and Innovations

The Unified Strategy for Education and Science for 2017-2021 of Georgia reads that ensuring a quality and affordable education and science system is one of the main priorities of the Government of Georgia and has been declared the cornerstone of the development of the country.

By Thea Morrison

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21 January 2019 16:42