As the mastermind behind impactful educational programs such as “No Time to Sleep” and “A Farewell to Arms,” along with the numerous education and training forums, Olga Babluani is now gearing up to launch three compelling documentary series. These upcoming projects aim to further amplify the promotion of vocational education.
Olga has served as not only the author and producer but also as the anchor of the above-mentioned initiatives. Curious minds may wonder: What inspired her to delve into the field of vocational education, and what exciting prospects does the new project hold?
“A year ago, I decided to initiate a forum on professional education at the House of Writers,” Olga tells us. “The project was carefully planned over a month, involving specialists from various disciplines, including experts from different institutions. Following a particularly intriguing brainstorming session, I contemplated the need to share this topic with a wider audience. Convinced of its importance, with the support of the Ministry of Education, becoming an agent of change, a compact yet impactful film series titled ‘Discover Your Profession’ was produced.”
In Georgia, there still exists a stigma surrounding vocational education, colloquially referred to as the “secondary” choice (often dubbed “proftech” during Soviet times). Shockingly, 70% of parents prefer their children not to pursue vocational education. Yet on the market, 80% of the demand goes to vocational jobs while only 20% of jobs require people with higher academic education.
“The private sector continually seeks professionals (from craftsmen to hospitality, services, gastronomy, and beyond). How could working be belittling?” Olga asks. “As the French poet Arthur Rimbaud once said, ‘Life blossoms with working,’ emphasizing the intrinsic connection between one’s profession and personal fulfilment. A poet and an artist said this. It is plausible to explore a convergence of creativity and labor, witnessing the transformation of any individual’s work. When you leave your comfort zone, you evade the shackles of societal expectations. This is when autonomy and self-governance become paramount. Your profession is your freedom.”
In the era of rapid technological advancements and emerging economies, it is important to raise awareness about these developments. Georgia is currently facing a “brain drain,” and addressing these issues is crucial. The emphasis today is on the social integration of the younger generation, as the country undergoes significant growth and grapples with the complexities of employment.
What information does the new TV project provide?
The information presented is highly rational and essential, addressing a wide range of insights related to society. The films depict both public and private vocational institutions, showcasing role-model students sharing their own experiences. The educational journey involves not only teachers but also key figures in various sectors, and representatives of state entities or private companies. Basically, it features everyone engaged in these fields, seeing them serving as beacons, guiding us on where and how success can be achieved in today’s job market, and ensuring a guarantee of employment.
Truth be told, this is just a small step, and the challenges beneath the surface are often more complex than those visible above. However, it is crucial to initiate active dialogue and explore priorities and needs. If newcomers, even in small numbers, find the desire to discover their own path, they should try, take risks, and not be afraid to explore their future. And parents should not hinder their children’s professional aspirations but rather encourage them to pursue their dreams.
I would like to mention the proactive work and professionalism of our dedicated team. Beyond the intricate and time-consuming process we have traversed, hats off to Nino Meiparishvili, the director of the film. She stands out not only for her excellent professionalism but also for her exceptional ability to uncover the best results. My gratitude goes to her for this achievement, as well as to Mariam Rakviashvili for her support and to everyone who has been with us on this journey.
Where can we find these docuseries?
For me, the ideal case would be if all media outlets in Georgia provided information for all audiences. Unfortunately, media polarization is at its peak. But social networks come to our aid: anyone can watch all three episodes on the “No Time to Sleep” Facebook page, starting December 1. It will be broadcast on 22 regional TV channels and on Imedi TV National Channel (partner media). I trust regional media will draw more attention over the next few years. A large audience is there, and its use as a valuable source of information is undeniable. One thing is certain: active communication has already been established with them, and what we have accomplished (with the support of the International Migration Organization) has been seen by many viewers and this is not a small number for Georgia.
In connection with cinema, could you share what’s new? The audience is probably eagerly anticipating some news about you.
I grew up in a cinema family, practically living in the world of film, and the film was almost an allegory of life for us. Whatever I do is closely related to my personal experiences and a significant part of my genuine interest, so I can say it’s beyond family tradition.
Allow me to share a bit about Ana Urushadze, a truly versatile woman film director. I had so many interesting discussions with her about drama or the peculiarities of life, that I agreed to participate in her upcoming movie.
A month passed, and as I reflected, I realized that when I could not physically see Ana in the process of filming, I no longer saw myself on the stage either. Despite the fact that it featured a very original scenario and a well-presented character, I declined the role in the end. My heart aches, but I know that today my place is not there. This is my first time, publicly discussing an offered role, but this moment was exceptional. When you know that a very interesting thing is being unveiled, but your intuition tells you – this is not your place.