Microsoft Corporation and the International Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) praised the measures taken by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia to promote distance learning amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Anthony Salcito, Vice President of Education at Microsoft Corporation, the Ministry has managed to transition to online education with exceptional results.
Anthony Salcito: "The crisis has once again shown us how effectively Georgia uses its digital learning tools. I especially commend Minister Chkhenkeli’s response and his strategy, as it is broad at its core. For example, the use of public channel to make education available in remote areas. Also, the Ministry smartly focuses on developing students’ skills to find themselves facing the challenges of the 21st century. Microsoft will always be happy to help the Ministry in this regard.”
According to Anthony Salcito, Microsoft continues to cooperate with the ministry and desires to implement more projects in the future. According to the Vice President of Microsoft Education, the OECD has recognized Georgia as a leading country in the field of distance learning. That is precisely why it is important for other countries to have the opportunity to learn more about Georgia's approach.
Andreas Schleicher, head of the OECD's education directorate, described Georgia and Finland as leading countries in terms of successfully implementing the distance learning measures. He assessed the projects implemented by the Ministry of Education of Georgia to strengthen the component of distance learning as one of the best.
Andreas Schleicher: “Georgia is a tremendously impressive example with regards to the introduction of distance learning. It is also an excellent case for many other countries to follow. Georgia is a country where public policy is always ahead of the pandemic and responded swiftly to the crisis."
According to Andreas Schleicher, the ministry was able to instantly mobilize teachers and all those involved in education, which further led to the continuation of the learning process, whilst protecting the health every stakeholder. The Ministry also managed to make education available to students from all regions of Georgia. Additionally, he praised the actions taken by the Ministry in implementing new technologies in education and called the use of television a reasonable choice, expanding the area of access to education. According to Mr. Schleicher, it is the technological diversity that has determined the academic achievement of each student.
Andreas Schleicher noted that Georgian teachers have shown high level of professionalism in the process of distance learning adaptation, and this is a great investment not only in times of crisis, but also in the long run. According to the head of the OECD Education Directorate, regular and correct communication with the public by the Ministry occupies a large portion of success.
According to him, Georgia intends to use the technology in the future to develop a constructive system to make the learning process more fun, social, and collaborative. As a result, the education system will be more efficient where students and teachers will be able to better acquire and impart knowledge.
The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli participated in the first Virtual Education Transformation Summit organized by Microsoft Corporation, where he presented representatives of UNESCO, OECD and more than 300 leaders working in the education sector with challenges and solutions facing the Georgian education system.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), has released a report on tackling the educational challenges in 2020 caused by COVID-19 pandemic. Study examined practices from 98 countries. The steps taken by the Georgian government to ensure a continuous flow of education process are considered as best examples.