The Prime Minister-led Interagency Coordination Council has decided to currently suspend the learning process in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia considers electronic and television modes of distance learning as an alternative and plans to enhance these methods.
One of the formats of distance learning set to be launched is a project "Teleskola", which will be launched by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia on March 30. The project will allow all students, regardless of whether they have access to the Internet, to find interesting lessons in all subjects across all Georgia.
Airtime (Lesson Timetable) covers all class subjects. Classes provided by the National Curriculum will be taught by experienced teachers from both the public and private sectors and will offer students a tailored module.
Undoubtedly, the interest of students with special educational needs is also taken into account in the initial planning of live lessons. Needless to say, all transmissions are provided by a gesture translator.
In its first phase, lessons will be conducted for ethnic minorities in Georgian as a second language, Azeri and Armenian languages, while other subjects in Azerbaijani and Armenian languages will be gradually added.
Additionally, the project also factors in holding an Entry Hour, where specialists in the field will advise entrants on national exams.
Classes will be held Monday through Friday and begin each day at 9 AM. Various cognitive-entertainment programs will also be added on the weekends. The timetable and other associated detailed information can be found by clicking the following links: http://mes.gov.ge/; https://1tv.ge/ and https://stopcov.gov.ge/
In addition, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia and LEPL Education Management Information System (EMIS) have provided the public-school administration, teachers and students more than 15 Microsoft Office products, which will further facilitate the execution of interactive lessons online.
The Microsoft Office 365 user profile (up to 600,000 students and 55,000 teachers) has been created for Georgian public schools (administration, teachers, and students). According to the latest data, 213919 users are currently using Teams.
Virtual classrooms for all classes and relevant subjects were created at Microsoft TEAMS. Video and text instruction to support public schools has been developed, and are available at the portals of https://email.mes.gov.ge and www.el.ge.
Virtual consulting spaces have been set up in all regions of Georgia where technology experts from the "New School Model" volunteer to help teachers implement distance learning; Additionally a Facebook group was created, where EMIS staff and New School Model technology experts answer questions raised while using Microsoft Office 365 products for distance learning purposes; Teacher and student / parent webinars are being organized with the focus on using Microsoft Office 365 products; A portal has been created that allows students and parents to access the student profile without the involvement of the school administration or a teacher. Added blog creation and sharing functionality where partner organizations will be able to post articles related to ongoing processes in various fields and disciplines. The Department of Preschool and General Education Development of the Ministry is working on developing a methodological guide for distance learning.
Furthermore, in collaboration with Microsoft, a short training course has already been translated/localized on Microsoft TEAMS and is located on el.ge and the instruction page of email.mes.gov.ge. Additionally, the following courses are being translated / localized: 21st Century Learning Design and Office 365 Teachers Academy (O365 Teachers Academy).
The Ministry is actively using artificial intelligence in technology implementation. In particular, the creation of a special “ChatBot” is in the works, that will act as a virtual digital creature, learn the frequently ask questions and act as a guide to the website visitors. This enables the process of communication with customers to be automated and rapid. The ChatBot will be built into a variety of communication channels.
The Ministry also plans to launch an information campaign on cyber hygiene through the various communication channels for the school community on the following topics:
- Content filtering;
- How parents can control children's devices;
- How to protect a unified educational network;
- How to block malicious pages and update the list of certain websites;
- What technological solutions does EMIS provide?
- How to make online projects secure;
- How we use backup systems
- How children are protected when using electronic services;
Furthermore, the EL.GE platform has created a space for teachers and students, with thematic resources based on the national curriculum. Subsequently, a process of creating a complex digital order bank is currently underway, which will be published publicly on the EL.GE portal. Based on the products and experience gained, the thematic units of the school curriculum will be improved; Teachers will be facilitated in the distance learning process; Methodological guidelines will be developed by observing distance learning practices; in conjunction with introducing electronic developmental assessment using tools developed within the new school model.
The ministry also collects data on the Internet and digital technologies to establish access for teachers and students.
The Ministry is also collaborating with the private sector to improve distance learning. A workshop was held with the private sector to discuss the challenges and technical needs of distance learning. The issue of offering internet packages tailored to the needs of teachers and students was considered.
Publishers have given students and teachers free access to the digital version of their books for the time being. Also, several promotions were offered at bookstores with a free mail delivery service.
All citizens of Georgia have been given free access to the Palitra L and Bakur Sulakauri Publishing e books. There are currently 2093 e-books on this platform, free of charge, for the duration of 30 days.
It is noteworthy, that Bakur Sulakauri Publishing House joined the solidarity rally with yet another offer. The website - www.sulakauri.ge will deliver the books for free throughout Georgia after paying the paperback fee. Furthermore, all students and teachers will be able to download free textbooks and any auxiliary teaching resources, including audio resources in Georgian and English upon completing the registration at: www.sulakauri.edu.ge.
As part of this initiative, Palitra L has provided students with up to 200 free audio books on the platform www.gudabooks.ge, dubbed by well-known actors.
As you may know, the Prime Minister-led Interagency Coordination Council has decided to temporarily suspend all learning activities for the prevention of coronavirus. The Council instructed the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia to maximize access to distance learning in order to facilitate the teaching-learning process. The joint project of the Ministry and the First Channel of Georgia Teleskola serves to accomplish this precise task.