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President’s Confession Speeded Up Education Reforms

13.01.2010
Eka Bakradze, www.pressa.ge

After the monologue of the president, the time of great reforms came in the education system. This reform has been implemented in the education field twice; though it is not enough.

During the meeting with teachers in Batumi, the president spoke about several mistakes made in the education system. Mikheil Saakashvili called the person ignorant who initiated so-called seasonal learning of subjects. He also criticized the decision on abolishing final exams at public schools; he criticized the abolishment of vocational colleges and changing of text-books every year.

Saakashvili said many families cannot afford to buy new books every year. He thinks standard of text-books shall be worked out. According to Saakashvili, children shall be interested in sport in school. For the purpose, public schools shall cooperate with various sport schools and children will go to those sport schools according to their own wish.

The president spoke about security and nutrition in schools. He said nutrition problem is resolved in schools based on principle of acquaintance. Large companies shall enter schools that will be responsible for the quality of food and children should be able to buy food by credit cards.

As for security, Saakashvili thinks pupils of primary and secondary schools shall be separated and older pupils should be controlled.

In short, Saakashvili spoke about the mistakes of the last 5 years and it was timely remark because Georgian education system has become topic of serious critic recently.

Reportedly, Georgia occupies the last place among 17 states in the preparation of teachers. According to the survey carried out by the international education association, none of the Georgian universities comply with international standards in the field of education.

Kutaisi state university showed average level in the methodic. One of the most famous institutions of Georgia, Ilia Chavchavadze State University occupied the last place in preparation of teachers.

Rector of the Ilia Chavchavadze State University Gigi Tevzadze said he cannot be responsible for the results of the survey. He said it was carried out in 2007 when the university was in the process of establishment on the basis of two various universities.

According to Tevzadze, the survey demonstrates the situation in Sulkhan-Saba University and Ilia Chavchavadze cannot be responsible for its results.

Head of National Center of Examinations Maia Miminoshvili denies the statement of Tevzadze and said that international association of education started the survey in 2008 and finished it late in 2009.

Thus, it is time for changes in the system. The first changes shall be introduced to the entrance exams to Georgian high schools. After 2011 it will depend on the results of the grades received during the last year at the public school.

The president clarified that in future students will have to pass more than three exams to enter the university. After school, pupils will have to take exams in 10 subjects and they will enter high schools based on exam results.

The president said among those 10 subjects will definitely be physics, mathematics, chemistry and other main subject; pupils should also take exam in computer programs.

Mikheil Saakashvili clarified that these amendments have resulted from the fact that public school certificates and education in high schools have lost value and pupils do not attend lessons particularly in the last forms of the public school because they are trained in skills which is necessary to enter the high school.

“Main subjects are not necessary to enter the high school now and now we have received situation of low professionalism because we can enter the university based on our skills. It should finish once and for ever. We should restore the prestige of school certificate and main subjects,” said Saakashvili.

The president spoke about introduction of new subjects like military education and culturology. It was clarified that military education will be restored in Georgian public schools. “Every citizen should be able to defend his/her homeland. Every person should know how to defend his/her village or district,” added Saakashvili.

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