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The Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli participated in the online Ministerial of Education organized by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe as one of the keynote speakers.
The first session of the conference was devoted to the challenges facing the education system in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the issues of delivering quality education. Mikheil Chkhenkeli shared his experience of adapting the Georgian education system to the online format.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli: “It is a great honor to participate in the Ministerial of Education organized by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Allow me to express my sincere gratitude for the invitation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the entire world. The new reality has given us an even stronger incentive to focus more on education, which is one of the fundamental human rights and a powerful driving force for the sustainable development of any country. This is evidenced by the decision of the Government of Georgia, which declares education and science as the main priority and the annual increase of the budget.
The challenges that followed the proliferation of Covid-19 required the mobilization of all available resources to make quick, purposeful, and bold decisions. I am proud to say that the Ministry has developed a new mechanism for providing continuous and quality education throughout Georgia and mitigated the negative impact of Covid-19 on the education system through innovative solutions. In addition to online lessons and other distance resources, the Ministry has launched a large-scale educational project "TV School", which continues today. TV lessons are held in Georgian, as well as in the languages of ethnic minorities residing in Georgia. In addition, translations of all TV lessons are provided by a sign language interpreter. Our goal is to uphold the universal principle - to leave no one behind and promote universal access to quality education."
In his speech, the Minister noted that in response to the epidemiological situation, in order for everyone to have access to education, the Georgian education system uses a hybrid method of teaching. The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health and epidemiologists, effectively manages the process through a point response. In addition, to ensure a safe learning environment, the Ministry also offers parents the opportunity of distance learning.
According to Mikheil Chkhenkeli, the international community highly appreciated Georgia's efforts in introducing distance learning. He thanked Georgia's international partners, the Council of Europe, for their invaluable assistance during the pandemic.
The Minister noted that the pandemic has clearly shown the importance of education as a solid foundation for democracy. He said cooperation, coordination between different governments, sharing best practices and innovative policies play an important role in shaping a better future.
Council of Europe Secretary General, Marija Pejčinović Burić and EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Maria Gabriel also addressed the conference; The Minister of Education and Religion of Greece, Nicki Kerameus, and the Minister of Education of France, Jean-Michel Blanche, spoke about the experience of their countries.