In the morning we had another presentation by Tiko (pictured above) She presented us with some information about Georgian Education. We followed that up with a presentation from a panel discussion from the Ministry of Education. We met with Natia Joakhadze, Head of of National Curriculum Department, Tamar Kitiashvili, Advisor to Vocational Education, Nona Popiashvili, Consultant at Teacher Professional Development, and Nino Udizilauri, Education Officer at Millennium Challenge.
These were the big take aways from the presentation.
- Students go to five 45 minute classes
- Students go to school from 9:00 - 2:45/3:00
- In the winter, the school day is shorter due to how cold it is.
- Most classrooms have a wood stove to keep the classroom heated.
- At 9th Grade students can choose to continue education or go on to vocational training.
- Parents choose what students will do.
- Student has very little choice in education.
- Students who can afford it go to private tutoring
- Most teachers take on private tutoring to support their income.
- Teacher get paid 500 GEL or approximately $250 per month.
- State assigns books and curriculum.All schools are centrally mandated by the government. All decisions about curriculum come from a central office.
- Discipline is an issue at school.
- All schools are controlled by a central government.
- State assigns books and curriculum.
- Smaller ethnic groups are allowed to maintain their own language in education.
At the Minstry of Education we learned:
- Georgia is just starting on Inclusive Education
- Most teachers teach in the a Soviet Style of Teaching: Rote learning and teacher is the center of the classroom.
- Average age of a teacher is 49.
- A quarter of the teachers are over 65.
- There is a big push to get more girls involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math education)
- Girls are discourage from STEM careers both from parents and teachers.
My research question is What is the role of the community in education? This was the answer I received:
- Schools have to follow framework
- The central office asked for input from parents, teachers and school boards, many did not respond to the surveys given. This is a result from the Soviet Era where everything was mandated by the central government.
- According to the panel, they are working to increase input from local communities especially around vocational schools, where they want input from local businesses.