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6. Implementation of Purposes and Attaining Object (1990 – 1999)

Pre-school Education

The only program for early childhood development implemented in Georgia up to-day is bringing up children in pre-school institutions.

Figure 2 show the changes in Georgian pre-school education system from 1990 to 1998. Georgia consists of 11 provinces shown in the map. Abbreviations in the map mean the following: ZS – Zemo (upper) Svaneti and KS – Kvemo (lower) Svaneti. Green upper figures denote the number of pre-school institutions, while lower figures show the number of children attending them in 1990. Red figures are relevant data in 1998. Unfortunately, after 1995 Abkhazeti province is temporary out of Georgian jurisdiction and, thus, data concerning this territory is not available. As can be seen in the map, there was a decrease in the number of institutions and in the number of children attending them. For example, in 1998 there were half as many institutions and three times fewer pupils than in 1990. The main reason was the economic crisis and its consequences. Further to these pre-school institutions, there were, in the Soviet period established at factories and other organizations, where children of employees were cared for during working hours. The economic depression destroyed this system, because the factories and organizations funded it. Many of them closed, and the rest were no longer able to maintain their kindergartens. As a result, trade pre-school institutions decreased from 805 to 47 in number.

Another reason was the collapse of the system of food provision. In the Soviet period, there were special organizations supplying pre-school institutions with food, but now these institutions must buy their provisions themselves.

Private kindergartens have begun to appear after 1992. Together with officially established private institutions many non-registered pre-school institutions have been created in private flats and there are no official statistics about them. For no apparent reasons, parents seem to think that the private institutions provide good care, and hence they are very popular.

The state pre-school institutions can be state subsidized in part on condition that parents also pay some part of the costs. Fortunately, institutions still have some basic equipment and it is possible to conduct lessons. Charity organizations are doing their best to save the system.

Table 1 in the Appendix shows gross enrolment ratio (GER) in early childhood development programs. Analysing the table we can conclude that in the whole country 41.1 percent of the age-group 3 to 5 population attended kindergartens in 1990 and the number fell down to 20.5 percent in 1994. Since 1995 the GER increases annually and to 1998 it has risen approximately 1.3 times. The tendency of increasing of the GER in 1995-1998 is mutual for the all provinces of Georgia except Guria and Mtskheta-Mtianeti. Two provinces Adjara Autonomic Republic and Racha-Lechkhuni & Kvemo Svaneti have made the most impressive progress: their GER increases 1.75 times. The last one is a leader in 1998 for 67.2 percent of children in the province are enrolled in kindergartens, meanwhile Adjara still remains among regions with the lowest index of the GER. The enrolments in rural areas are two times lower then those in urban areas. The reason of this is that the network of pre-school institutions in rural areas is rather poor and economical conditions of population in these areas are worst then those in urban areas. The decrease of the population in relevant age-group is a consequence of economical depression in the country.

The system of education in Georgia includes pre-school education - that is the first stage of education. Pre-school education, in accordance with the classifier, provides education of pre-school age children. There are three types of pre-school institutions for children: nursery schools (up to three-years age), combined kindergarten - nursery schools (from 1 to 6 years) and kindergartens (for children from 3 to 6 years).

According to the "Law on Education" of Georgia, the goal of pre-school education is to prepare a basis for bringing up of a healthy, moral, diligent and educated person, sharing all mankind ideals and inspiring with national culture.

The system of pre-school education of Georgia passed through the long way of evolution. It was a part of the unified system of education in the former Soviet Union, subordinated to state’s ideology and policy.

Pre-school education take place at pre-school institutions and at homes as well. The types of these institutions are described in the State Standards. Traditional form of pre-school education institutions is a kindergarten (nursery school combined with kindergarten), for 3 - 6 years old children. For 6 years old children at some kindergartens the first grade classes and combined primary school - kindergartens were founded.

There are 1241 state pre-school institutions in Georgia on the whole, 1206 of them are under the system of education, 31 are the so-called trade pre-school institutions. Approximately half of these institutions, namely 660, are kindergartens, 567 of them are combined kindergarten - nursery schools and only 14 are pure nursery schools. 646 (52%) of pre-school institutions are municipal and 595 (48%) of them are rural. From total amount of 74247 children that are enrolled at pre-school institutions - 55272 (74.5%) belongs to urban and 18975 (25%) - to rural areas. From this figure, 3238 children represent institutions of the alpine zone (Figure 6). The pre-school institutions consist of 3439 groups, 2772 of them are functioning at kindergartens and 667 at nursery schools (Table 4, Figure 3, 4, 5).

Two pre-school institutions of sanatorium type serve 90 pupils. There are 67 special pre-school institutions with 1244 children with hearing, speech and sight disorders.

The local administration is responsible for foundation of private kindergartens. Unfortunately, data about these institutions are not available recently.

Table 4.

Pre-school education institutions

 

Urban & Rural

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

Pre-school education institutions

2479

2398

1865

1727

1621

1322

1253

1224

1241

Number of children enrolled

199982

181224

135698

114501

80211

81938

83081

74879

74247

Vacancies at pre-school institution

202001

191850

158158

148509

139402

129760

127928

124280

124323

Loading

99

95

86

77

58

63

65

60

60

Gross enrolment

41.1

38.9

29.5

28.2

20.5

22.6

26.5

27.3

29.3

Teachers

22538

-

-

-

-

10491

9362

5415

5811

 

Urban

Pre-school education institutions

1094

1040

811

779

761

676

658

637

646

Number of children enrolled

137039

122608

93868

76715

47324

60494

63156

55443

55272

Vacancies at pre-school institution

134372

127934

108307

87620

76147

94969

93308

89907

88713

Loading

102

73

71

54

79

86

58

62

62

Gross enrolment

54.4

46.6

36.9

30.6

20.1

29.5

35.9

36.3

38.0

Teachers

15726

       

7307

6593

3779

4094

 

Rural

Pre-school education institutions

1385

1358

1054

948

860

646

595

587

595

Number of children enrolled

62943

58616

41830

37786

32887

21444

19925

19436

18975

Vacancies at pre-school institution

67629

63916

49851

60889

63255

34791

34620

34373

35610

Loading

93

92

84

62

52

62

64

57

53

Gross enrolment

28.7

27.1

20.3

28.3

16.5

13.8

14.7

16.2

17.8

Teachers

6212

-

-

-

-

3184

2769

1636

1701

Figure 3. Pre-school education institutions

The number of pre-school institutions has been significantly reduced. Only 4-5 groups are functioning today at 220 of pre-school institutions and 6-9 groups at 124 institutions. There are only 15 pre-school institutions in the country with 10 and more groups (Table 5).

Figure 4 .

Number of children enrolled at pre-school institutions

 The school groups with 358 pupils in are studying according to the primary school education programs of grade 1. This kind of groups were established in 95 pre-school institutions .

Three pre-school institutions are specially dedicated to disabled persons. One of them is for children with limited hearing; the second one is for children with limited eyesight and the third institution is dedicated for speech therapy. Groups for speech therapy are also founded at 37 ordinary pre-school institutions.

The instruction language in pre-school institutions is mainly Georgian. The local administration of regions compactly settled by national minorities

Figure 5. Number of Teacher at pre-school institutions

 

 


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