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Figure 11

Number of schools

The same tendency of decreasing has the number of students shown in Figure 12. But in this case the number of pupils in primary and secondary schools is practically unaltered, while the number of basic school students

Figure 12. Number of students

decreases approximately two times. The explanation of this figure is ease for the students of this type have alternative way to continue study at professional or vocational schools. The diagram in Figure 11 depicts the ratio of boys and girls in schools. The ratio is about fifty-fifty that reflects the status among the population of relevant age.

A lot of teachers left schools for another jobs in these years. The most crucial decrease occurred among male teachers. Analyzing Figure 12 we are able to make a conclusion that the number of primary school teachers is practically unaltered and at the same time in 1998 we have only 52 thousand teachers, while in 1990 this figure was more then 80 thousand. The part of male teachers among primary school teachers was less then 10 percent, but among the teachers of grades 5-11 was much greater. The most of them left teaching for more profitable job to keep their families in better economical conditions.

Figure 12. Number of teachers

It became clear that the education system needs reforms, otherwise the system was doomed to collapse. The Ministry of education initiated work on the State Program of Education Reforms and Plans of Its Realization. The program was finished and confirmed by the government of Georgia in 1994. Together with the situational analysis it outlined urgent problems and new structure of the education system. On the bases of the program and the Georgian Constitution the Law on Education was adopted by the Parliament in 1997.

According to the Georgian Constitution and Law of Education only the first stage, elementary education is mandatory. On that stage pupils acquire basic knowledge necessary to continue more profound study on following stages. As it was mentioned above the elementary stage consist of grades 1-6. At present the stage is a formal unification of the traditional primary school together with grades 5 and 6 working according to the old curricula, which by its substance are linked together with the grades 7-11.

In future this stage will be separated into two sub-stages: primary and reference classes. Two possibilities are discussing now:

    1. (4 primary + 2 reference) classes;
    2. (3 primary + 3 reference) classes.
    3. The first variant seems preferable for four years primary school is more usual for our mentality. By the Order of the Minister of Education issued in 1997 five years old children, who were born before the 31st of December of the current year, are admitted into school. Taking into account this fact the third variant is also under the consideration:

    4. (1 preparatory + 4 primary + 1 reference) classes.

It should be emphasized that the elementary school is on the level of theoretical thinking and no practical model has been created yet. Therefore, one can conclude that recently we are able to discuss the problems of primary schools only.

Problems the primary school met the last years are generally similar to those of other education institutions:

Indicator 3. Apparent (gross) intake rate

Figure 15. Apparent (Gross) and net intake rates in primary education

Apparent intake rate for new entrants in primary grade 1 in 1990 was very

high in Georgia and it reached 100 percent. The similar indicator we have in

the end of the considered period in 1998 and it equals to 97 percent. In the period of time the situation was not stable. Indeed, as it is seen from the tables of indicators 3 and 4, Apparent Intake Rate undergo sufficient changes together with decreasing the number of 6 years old population. The situation is pictured in Figure 15.

Decreasing of the age-group 6 population in 1990-1998 was caused mainly by two reasons:

    1. Intensive emigration of population in period under the consideration. According to official data the number of emigrated people are 300 000, but some experts evaluate this figure as 1 million;
    2. The tendency of decreasing of birth rate in the last two decades.

It is possible that the number of the population of this age-group will significantly diminish in 2001 caused by infant mortality that have dramatically increased since 1995. For example, rate of infant mortality in 1997 was 17.4 per thousand newborns. The natural birth-rate index lowered from 8.7 to 3.1 in 1990-1996.

The dynamics of the apparent intake rate gives us possibility to divide the period considered into two parts:

Summarizing, we can say that due to the data of the last years primary education is much accessible for the population to-day, then in the beginning of the 90s. It is natural for the new Georgian Constitution declares that "primary education is mandatory. The state secure free primary education for all" (item 25).

In 1996-1998 the intake index is very high in all regions of Georgia and in many cases it exceed 100 percent. This means that the significant number of children below the school-entrance age is admitted into schools. The desire of parents to bring their children in a school in early age is motivated by increasing the duration of study in a secondary school from 11 to 12 years.

The number of boys and girls in primary schools are approximately equal as it can be seen from the tables of Indicator 3. The difference of 2-4 percent is caused by the natural difference in birth rate between boys and girls. In last decades, the so-called, secondary ratio of numbers of boys is fixed (when the number of newborn boys exceeds the number of newborn girls). Therefore, the gender parity traditions remain in Georgian education system up to-day.

Indicator 4: Net intake rate

Net intake rate shows new entrants in the first grade of primary schools that are of official primary school entrance age, expressed as a percentage of the population of the same age. Free primary education is one of the main aspects of children right. Georgia reputed as a country where the problem of new entrants was successfully solved. Comparatively low net intake rate in 1990-1997 (less then 90 percent) is an unpleasant surprise. The rebellion in Abkhazeti resulting in 300 000 displaced persons partially explained the figure. Indeed, homeless children not only of 6 years age, but also of all other school age, appeared out of school. Some of parents prefer their children to enter the first primary grade in the age of 7. Though this number is rather low. It is possible that the sharp rise in net intake rate in 1997-1998 (96% and 95%, correspondingly) is a consequence of admission into schools persons whose age is below the official primary school–entrance age. The left 4-5 percent gives us those children who have entered a school in the previous year and in the current year are already in the second grade.

Indicator 5: Gross enrolment ratio

The gross enrolment ratio (GRT) in 1990 was rather high and reached 99.7 percent that indicates that the country had possibility to provide primary education for all children of the relevant age. The dynamics of the GRT is shown in Figure 16.

In 1992 the GRT fell down to 90 percent. This year was the year of the civil war and the educational process in the most regions of the country was broken and parents abstained from sending their children at schools. So the GRT was low.

In 1993-1994 together with decreasing of the population of primary school-entrance age the tendency of lowering of the GRT continues: it

Figure 16. Gross and Net enrolment rations in primary education

became 89% and 88%, correspondingly. This was a period when school buildings were used as a temporary shelter for displaced persons from Abkhazeti and school activity was partially suspended. Furthermore, many schools became unfit totally or partially. For example, only in the alpine zone of Georgia 310 schools out of 660 required capital repairs and 150 of them needs emergency repairs. Very hard social and economical conditions in the country forced many homeless children of the primary school-entrance age to leave their residence places for Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where they earn money by beggaring. Since 1995 when the government and non-governmental organizations took care (shelter, nutrition, education) of that type of children the GRT begins to rise. The very important role of a non-governmental organization "Women of Georgia for Peace and Life" have to be mentioned. Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, the wife of the President of Georgia Mr. E. Shevardnadze, heads the organization and its share in taking care of the homeless children is very important. The organization founded the village for homeless children where they live in domestic situation. It funded boarding houses and orphanages and the problem of tramps is under its intensive attention.

The stability of the population of the official primary school-entrance age caused in 1995-1998 the rise in the number of entrants to primary schools. The GER increased from 90% to 95% in this period of time. Thus, in 1998 Georgia has on the whole solved the problem of entrants, whether the pupils belong to the official age group or not.

Kakheti and Guria have the most stable and high indicators among the other Georgian provinces. The GER in these regions was changing between 95% and 104%.

Indicator 6. Net enrolment ratio

The official primary school age in Georgia is 6-10 years. In 1990 there lived 352748 children of relevant age in Georgia. Among them 352393 children participated at the primary level of education, which is 99.0% of the primary school age population. This percentage is the net enrolment ratio (NER).

The dynamics of this indicator is similar to those of the GER that might be explained by the same reasons. The high indicator (95%) in 1998 shows that population of the primary school age nearly completely are enrolled at primary schools.

The most interesting feature of Table 4 of the Appendix is considerably high GER and NER in rural areas in 1998 (96.9% and 96.4%) in comparison with those in urban areas (93.7% and 93.4%). This indicates that children participation at primary level of education in rural areas needs the significant help of education authorities, while the existence of rather high percentage of the primary school age children out of schools in urban areas demands the investigation and explanation.

The appearance of private schools must be mentioned especially. The enrolment at these schools is rather low, but the dynamics of their growth is very impressive.

Figure 11

Number of schools

The same tendency of decreasing has the number of students shown in Figure 12. But in this case the number of pupils in primary and secondary schools is practically unaltered, while the number of basic school students

Figure 12. Number of students

decreases approximately two times. The explanation of this figure is ease for the students of this type have alternative way to continue study at professional or vocational schools. The diagram in Figure 11 depicts the ratio of boys and girls in schools. The ratio is about fifty-fifty that reflects the status among the population of relevant age.

A lot of teachers left schools for another jobs in these years. The most crucial decrease occurred among male teachers. Analyzing Figure 12 we are able to make a conclusion that the number of primary school teachers is practically unaltered and at the same time in 1998 we have only 52 thousand teachers, while in 1990 this figure was more then 80 thousand. The part of male teachers among primary school teachers was less then 10 percent, but among the teachers of grades 5-11 was much greater. The most of them left teaching for more profitable job to keep their families in better economical conditions.

Figure 12. Number of teachers

It became clear that the education system needs reforms, otherwise the system was doomed to collapse. The Ministry of education initiated work on the State Program of Education Reforms and Plans of Its Realization. The program was finished and confirmed by the government of Georgia in 1994. Together with the situational analysis it outlined urgent problems and new structure of the education system. On the bases of the program and the Georgian Constitution the Law on Education was adopted by the Parliament in 1997.

According to the Georgian Constitution and Law of Education only the first stage, elementary education is mandatory. On that stage pupils acquire basic knowledge necessary to continue more profound study on following stages. As it was mentioned above the elementary stage consist of grades 1-6. At present the stage is a formal unification of the traditional primary school together with grades 5 and 6 working according to the old curricula, which by its substance are linked together with the grades 7-11.

In future this stage will be separated into two sub-stages: primary and reference classes. Two possibilities are discussing now:

    1. (4 primary + 2 reference) classes;
    2. (3 primary + 3 reference) classes.
    3. The first variant seems preferable for four years primary school is more usual for our mentality. By the Order of the Minister of Education issued in 1997 five years old children, who were born before the 31st of December of the current year, are admitted into school. Taking into account this fact the third variant is also under the consideration:

    4. (1 preparatory + 4 primary + 1 reference) classes.

It should be emphasized that the elementary school is on the level of theoretical thinking and no practical model has been created yet. Therefore, one can conclude that recently we are able to discuss the problems of primary schools only.

Problems the primary school met the last years are generally similar to those of other education institutions:

Indicator 3. Apparent (gross) intake rate

Figure 15. Apparent (Gross) and net intake rates in primary education

Apparent intake rate for new entrants in primary grade 1 in 1990 was very

high in Georgia and it reached 100 percent. The similar indicator we have in

the end of the considered period in 1998 and it equals to 97 percent. In the period of time the situation was not stable. Indeed, as it is seen from the tables of indicators 3 and 4, Apparent Intake Rate undergo sufficient changes together with decreasing the number of 6 years old population. The situation is pictured in Figure 15.

Decreasing of the age-group 6 population in 1990-1998 was caused mainly by two reasons:

    1. Intensive emigration of population in period under the consideration. According to official data the number of emigrated people are 300 000, but some experts evaluate this figure as 1 million;
    2. The tendency of decreasing of birth rate in the last two decades.

It is possible that the number of the population of this age-group will significantly diminish in 2001 caused by infant mortality that have dramatically increased since 1995. For example, rate of infant mortality in 1997 was 17.4 per thousand newborns. The natural birth-rate index lowered from 8.7 to 3.1 in 1990-1996.

The dynamics of the apparent intake rate gives us possibility to divide the period considered into two parts:

Summarizing, we can say that due to the data of the last years primary education is much accessible for the population to-day, then in the beginning of the 90s. It is natural for the new Georgian Constitution declares that "primary education is mandatory. The state secure free primary education for all" (item 25).

In 1996-1998 the intake index is very high in all regions of Georgia and in many cases it exceed 100 percent. This means that the significant number of children below the school-entrance age is admitted into schools. The desire of parents to bring their children in a school in early age is motivated by increasing the duration of study in a secondary school from 11 to 12 years.

The number of boys and girls in primary schools are approximately equal as it can be seen from the tables of Indicator 3. The difference of 2-4 percent is caused by the natural difference in birth rate between boys and girls. In last decades, the so-called, secondary ratio of numbers of boys is fixed (when the number of newborn boys exceeds the number of newborn girls). Therefore, the gender parity traditions remain in Georgian education system up to-day.

Indicator 4: Net intake rate

Net intake rate shows new entrants in the first grade of primary schools that are of official primary school entrance age, expressed as a percentage of the population of the same age. Free primary education is one of the main aspects of children right. Georgia reputed as a country where the problem of new entrants was successfully solved. Comparatively low net intake rate in 1990-1997 (less then 90 percent) is an unpleasant surprise. The rebellion in Abkhazeti resulting in 300 000 displaced persons partially explained the figure. Indeed, homeless children not only of 6 years age, but also of all other school age, appeared out of school. Some of parents prefer their children to enter the first primary grade in the age of 7. Though this number is rather low. It is possible that the sharp rise in net intake rate in 1997-1998 (96% and 95%, correspondingly) is a consequence of admission into schools persons whose age is below the official primary school–entrance age. The left 4-5 percent gives us those children who have entered a school in the previous year and in the current year are already in the second grade.

Indicator 5: Gross enrolment ratio

The gross enrolment ratio (GRT) in 1990 was rather high and reached 99.7 percent that indicates that the country had possibility to provide primary education for all children of the relevant age. The dynamics of the GRT is shown in Figure 16.

In 1992 the GRT fell down to 90 percent. This year was the year of the civil war and the educational process in the most regions of the country was broken and parents abstained from sending their children at schools. So the GRT was low.

In 1993-1994 together with decreasing of the population of primary school-entrance age the tendency of lowering of the GRT continues: it

Figure 16. Gross and Net enrolment rations in primary education

became 89% and 88%, correspondingly. This was a period when school buildings were used as a temporary shelter for displaced persons from Abkhazeti and school activity was partially suspended. Furthermore, many schools became unfit totally or partially. For example, only in the alpine zone of Georgia 310 schools out of 660 required capital repairs and 150 of them needs emergency repairs. Very hard social and economical conditions in the country forced many homeless children of the primary school-entrance age to leave their residence places for Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where they earn money by beggaring. Since 1995 when the government and non-governmental organizations took care (shelter, nutrition, education) of that type of children the GRT begins to rise. The very important role of a non-governmental organization "Women of Georgia for Peace and Life" have to be mentioned. Mrs. Nanuli Shevardnadze, the wife of the President of Georgia Mr. E. Shevardnadze, heads the organization and its share in taking care of the homeless children is very important. The organization founded the village for homeless children where they live in domestic situation. It funded boarding houses and orphanages and the problem of tramps is under its intensive attention.

The stability of the population of the official primary school-entrance age caused in 1995-1998 the rise in the number of entrants to primary schools. The GER increased from 90% to 95% in this period of time. Thus, in 1998 Georgia has on the whole solved the problem of entrants, whether the pupils belong to the official age group or not.

Kakheti and Guria have the most stable and high indicators among the other Georgian provinces. The GER in these regions was changing between 95% and 104%.

Indicator 6. Net enrolment ratio

The official primary school age in Georgia is 6-10 years. In 1990 there lived 352748 children of relevant age in Georgia. Among them 352393 children participated at the primary level of education, which is 99.0% of the primary school age population. This percentage is the net enrolment ratio (NER).

The dynamics of this indicator is similar to those of the GER that might be explained by the same reasons. The high indicator (95%) in 1998 shows that population of the primary school age nearly completely are enrolled at primary schools.

The most interesting feature of Table 4 of the Appendix is considerably high GER and NER in rural areas in 1998 (96.9% and 96.4%) in comparison with those in urban areas (93.7% and 93.4%). This indicates that children participation at primary level of education in rural areas needs the significant help of education authorities, while the existence of rather high percentage of the primary school age children out of schools in urban areas demands the investigation and explanation.

The appearance of private schools must be mentioned especially. The enrolment at these schools is rather low, but the dynamics of their growth is very impressive.

Indicator 7: Public current expenditure in primary education (a) as a percentage of GNP and (b) per pupil, as a percentage of GNP per capita.

Table 5 presents public current expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public current expenditure on education. The table shows the almost perpetual rise in the percentage. But we do not understand it as an indication on the priority of primary education. The thing is that the expenditure on other branches of education (pre-school, vocational, and high) decreased so much that the expenditure on primary education is relatively increased. Public current expenditure on primary education as a percentage of GNP in the two last years is constant and equals to 0.4%. It is the lowest indicator among the other in former Soviet republics. For example, the closest index of Moldova is 7 times higher then that of Georgia.

Indicator 8: Public expenditure on primary education as a percentage of total public expenditure on education.

Public current expenditure on primary education per pupil as a percentage of GNP per capita is shown in the last column of Table 5 of the Appendix. After the crucial fall from 14.3% to 1.1% in1990-1994, the index rose to 6.8% in1998, but it could not reach the half of its value in 1990.

Indicator 9: percentage of primary school teachers having the required academic qualifications.

The data on private primary school teachers recently are not available and so figures in Table 6 of the Appendix concern only with primary public school teachers.

The majority of primary school teachers (90%-94%) have academic qualification, thus they have higher education. Other teachers (6%-10%) have secondary, special secondary or incomplete higher education. They mainly work in the villages of alpine zone.

With the decreasing of the primary school age population the number of classes and teachers decreases as well. The number of the primary school teachers in 1990-1997 fell to 16841, but in 1998 it increased to 17466. In the same year the number of teachers having the required academic qualification in comparison with 1990 increased and became 94%.

This indicates that there are teachers in Georgia having required qualification and experience, but it should be mentioned that their qualification meets of the Soviet education system. The main majority of the primary school teachers (92%-94%) are women. They not only outnumbered men, but also excel them in qualification (correspondingly 94.2% and 92.4% in 1998). The lack of male primary school teachers is the result of the specific character of primary education as well as of extremely low remuneration: the maximal pay of a teacher equals one third of the living wage. Naturally, men are searching for more profitable job and leave schools.

Indicator 10: Percentage of primary school teachers who are certified to teach according to national standards.

The number of certified teachers in given period is also rather high and varies from 85% to 89%. For comparison it must be mentioned that in Russia more then half of primary school teacher have not higher education. At the same time 15599 teachers out of 17466 primary school teachers have higher education or pass retraining courses. A lot of public or private higher education institutions in Georgia are destine to train primary school teachers. But the level of their training is mainly unsatisfactory that is the topic for the universal arguing. Thus, the great number of certified teachers does not mean that the primary schools in Georgia are completed with the staff of high qualification. To complete the primary schools of Georgia with the primary school teachers having really high qualification is the main goal of the education authorities.

Due to absence of data in 1993 Indicator 10 as well as Indicator 11 lacks the date of this year.

Indicator 11: Pupil/teacher ratio (PRT)

Average number of pupils per teacher in primary education in 1990-1998 was 17 that can be treated as an optimal level (in the countries of the European Union the similar index is 18).

The ratio does not reflect the real picture at all. Indeed, the number of schools in rural areas 3.7 times exceeds that in urban areas (data of 1997). At the same time, the number of pupils in urban areas is much greater then in rural areas. Really, the number of pupils in urban schools on the average 4.2 times exceeds the number in rural schools. It is clear that actually average number of pupils per teacher in urban schools many times exceeds 17, while the index in rural school is significantly lesser then 17. Really, at Tbilisi schools 38-40 pupils are in a class, while at mountain villages this number often is 3-4.

It seems that the conclusion about diminishing of the number of primary school teachers is not rightful for it would result in the closing of many rural schools and as a consequence the disappearance of mountain villages. So the criteria of assessment of the number of primary school teachers for urban and rural areas must be different.

One can conclude that the number of primary school teachers is recently enough. But 60% of the teachers are of a pension age and the profession of a schoolteacher does not attract young generation for it is very hard and little paid.

Indicator 12: Repetition rate by grade.

The indicator of pupils repeating a grade is one of the most important indexes of internal efficiency. In Georgian schools a child become the repeater if he/she could not pass the program in native language and mathematics and the pedagogical council of the school accepted the relevant decision. Repetition two or more times in primary classes was not fixed during the period considered. All the more, no pupil was expelled.

In 1990-1998 repetition rate in Georgia varies from 0.2% to 0.5%; the average index is 0.4%. The absolute number of repetition in a given grade has never reached 400. The number of repeaters among boys and girls is approximately equal. On the average 50.5-51% of boys and 49-49.5% of girls studied in the same grade the following school year. This difference might be readily explained by the fact that the number of boys in schools exceeds the number of girls.

Proximity of the index to zero indicates that the internal efficiency in primary grades very high.

Indicator 13: Survival rate to grade 5

This index also shows internal efficiency: the closer the index is to 100 percent, the much effective is education in primary grades.

Survival rate to grade 5 was 90.4 percent in 1990. Georgian authorities do not use expelling pupils from a primary school so one can guess that the left 9.6% of pupils were taken by their parents out of the country because of the stressed political situation in Georgia in 1991. The process of emigration intensified in 1992-1993. Thus, survival rate fell to 70.3 percent in 1992 and to 66.4 percent in 1993. The civil war, rebellions in Abkhazeti and Tskhinvali region, destroying of schools and other dramatic events caused the intensive pupil-flow in these years. Thousand of citizens left Georgia for other countries.

Since 1994 the process of stabilization starts in Georgia: schools began to function, studying process normalized relatively. Consequently, survival rate increased to 91.9%. It exceeds 90% in 1995-1997. The index reaches 98.1% in 1998 that is the evidence of growth of internal efficiency of schools.

Indicator 14: Coefficient of efficiency

Coefficient of efficiency is directly linked to the last two indexes (indicators 12 and 13) correspondingly repeats the dynamic in 1991-1998 of those pupils who completed grade 4 and reach grade 5. In 1990-1993 coefficient of efficiency decreases from 94.3% to 79.1%. As it was mentioned above, expelling pupils from primary schools is not used in Georgia. Thus, the decreasing is the result of emigration of the population from Georgia. Since the stabilization period coefficient of efficiency sharply increased and reaches 98.6 percent in 1998.

Therefore, the most of entrants of primary schools complete the whole cycle of primary education and so entire efficiency coefficient is consequently high.

Indicator 15: Percentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies.

ercentage of pupils having reached at least grade 4 of primary schooling who master a set of nationally defined basic learning competencies gives the following picture:

1992 – 99.7%

1993 – 99.7%

1994 – 99.7%

1995 – 99.5%

1996 – 99.5%

1997 – 99.5%

1998 – 99.6%

Data shows that the percentage is very close to 100% in 1991-1998. The high coefficient indicates that the majority of pupils in grade 4 master a defined level of basic learning competencies. The high result is shared by boys as well as by girls.

Indicators 16, 17 and 18: literacy rates of population aged 15-24 and 15 years old and over.

As it is clear from Table 11 of Appendix wiping out of illiteracy on basic education level among the population of any age is not a problem Georgia has faced today. It is very high and practically equals 100%. Like all above considered cases there are no difference between men and women and Literacy Gender parity index is 1.0.

The first data on adult literacy in Georgia belong to 1897. Literacy rate in age group 9-49 at that time was 23.6%. The percentage among females was 17.1% and among males 29.6%. The decisive step in this direction was made in 1921 when the decree on wiping out of illiteracy was issued by the government. In 1989 adult literacy rate attained 98.96%. Due to the lack of statistical data it is impossible to evaluate the number of homeless children in the country that will influence on literacy rate in future. Today the age of these children is below 15 and so they do not play a role in forming the above-considered index.

7. Efficiency of EFA Strategy, Plans and Programs

The author pre-school education institutions play an important role in development of optional education.

Innovative-optional pre-school educational institutions are divided into two types: a) one is based on innovations of a teacher. This methodology may be incorporated in traditional system of education; b) the second is based on internationally accepted ideas and innovative technologies for example, "Waldorf Pedagogy" originated from R. Steiner’s philosophy, "Step by Step" program sponsored by Soros Foundation and others.

Thus, the strategy of the reform program envisages creation of optional pre-school educational institutions, development of optional programs for advanced, disabled asocial children.

The combination of state, non-state and family education gives possibilities for individual development of a person. National kindergartens are deemed to be as one of the important elements for maintaining ethnic unity and its development. In this regard, it is very important for ethnic minorities to study native language together with the official language and to adhere to the values and traditions of native culture. The programs for minorities (Russian, Armenian, Azeri and others) should be in compliance with Georgian educational programs. The change in percentage of the pupils of primary schools according to their instruction language is presented in Figure 17. Increasing emigration and the absence data on Abkhazeti, where the instruction language for the majority of primary school attendants was Russian, cause the sharp fall of the figure under consideration.

The type of institution which is combined pre-school and school institution should be subject to further development and evolution.

Figure 17.

Change in percentage of the pupils of primary schools according to their instruction language

Responsibility of the education authorities is to pay a special attention to creation of pre-school educational institutions of extra standard level and to facilitate their efficient operation.

The following measures should be carried out by education authorities:

The main goal of strategy of the EFL is to preserve advantages of the existing education system of Georgia and to develop it in direction that will make possible to joint Georgia to developed countries of the world. Deep economical and political changes Georgia has experienced the last decade lead the education system of Georgia to crisis. Problems that Georgia has never faced became very actual problems today. For example, the civil war, rebellions in Abkhazeti and Tskhinvali region, the great number of displaced persons, dramatic growth of the number of homeless children and disadvantaged families, and collapse of industry make up the incomplete list of political, social and economic disasters that badly influenced the educational system.

State Program of Education Reforms and Plan of their Realization (adopted in 1995), the Law on Education of Georgia (1997), and the number of normative documents issued by the government of Georgia, the Ministry of Education, and other relevant authorities form a legislative basis development of the system in right direction.

The main principles that have been declared as the base for development of the education system are democratization, humanization, and diversity. These principles are explained in the program of education reforms in the following words:

Measures necessary to realize these principles have been discussed in the previous sections.

8. Main Problems

The main problem of pre-school and primary education as well as education on the whole is insufficient subsiding. This problem is common for all post-soviet countries. Economical difficulties arose after gaining independence decreased the state budget and expenditure designed for education became catastrophically small. We have mentioned above that in Georgia the expenditure was only 0.4% of GNP that is the smallest index in the post-soviet area.

The traditions of centralized administration of educational system are yet of great vitality and it does not allow the authorities of education institutions to search for alternative ways of funding the institution. The main reason of the situation is that there is no education manager service in Georgia. The Soviet system of education had no need in this profession for all problems connected with managing of the system were solved in Moscow at the Ministry of Planning. Scanty information was available on ways and methods of taking of decision, especially in provinces of the Soviet Union. Thus, Georgian authorities have faced problems they have not been ready to solve immediately.

After independence the education system of Georgia found itself in legislative vacuum. Indeed, the Soviet jurisdiction was justly rejected but the new normative documents have not been yet created. The intensive work in this direction is carrying out but to the cause mentioned above the progress is very slow.

Insufficient supply by modern material and technical facilities is also very important for pre-school and primary education institutions.

In addition to this, the qualification of teachers is not sufficient to conduct classes in accordance with the modern advanced methodology excepted in developed countries.

Usage of psychologists and other specialists for consultation purposes is casual, so there are no possibility to correct behavior of a child on an early stage of development that will help him/her to avoid a lot of complications in adult age.

Social security of teachers does not exist practically in Georgia. The pay of the teachers of pre-school and primary education institutions is the lowest in the country. Insurance service does not work as well. Labor exchange in Georgia is in embryo.

9. Social Realization, Political Will, and National Opportunities

Problems of education and pre-school and primary education in particular are the subject of attention of the President, Parliament and government of Georgia as well as international and non-state organizations functioning in the country. The annual report of the Minister of education to the parliament and his systematic reports to the government are the manifestation of this attention.

National and international summits and conferences, visits of missions of international organizations ( UNESCO, UNISEF Council of Europe and so on) helps teachers and education authorities to realize their objectives in reorganization of the educational system.

National education research institutions on the basis of international experience work out methodological recommendations, which are designed to help teachers and parents to bring their children up according to the modern needs.

10. General Assessment of Progress

Analyzing the data presented in Indicators we can make general conclusions about tendencies that characterized pre-school and primary education in Georgia. The most important among them are the following:



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