The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mr. Dimitri Shashkini, introduced a strategic plan of 2012 to members of the Georgian government.
The presentation covered all levels of the education sector. In his speech, the Minister highlited the following important issues: The student employment program, which envisages employing 25,000 students for summer jobs; and the retraining the population of 15 cities (Rustavi, Kutaisi, Poti, Zestaponi, Gori, Khashuri, Zugdidi, Batumi, Tkibuli, Oni, Chiatuta, Akhalkalaki, Samtredia, Ozurgeti, Telavi) in English, computer and professional skills. The Ministry will also waive the fees for taking national entry exams to students of non-authorized higher educational instututions, and if they pass the unified national exams, the Ministry will allow them to keep their previosuly accumulated credits.
The Minister also spoke about new initiatives to be introduced in the general education sphere. A new national curriculum will be implemented for grades VII-XII starting in the next academic year, and new textbooks will be also developed; the price of these handbooks will be only 10 GEL. Also, a new student assessment system will be activated.
Implementation of the E-strategy will start next year and the instruction of IT technologies will be enhanced at schools; schools will be supplied with smart boards, 100 classes will be opened with modern innovative equipments (so called :Future Classes"). Special software programs will also be developed and educational computer games will be integrated in all subjects. Teachers will be fully trained in their respective subjects and new textbooks will be elaborated upon. Sity-thousand first graders and their teachers will receive netbooks as gifts from the Georgian government. Schoolchildren from all socially vulnerable families will be granted school textbooks at no cost.
Instruction in the English language will be further strengthened and 1,500 native English speakers will arrive to Georgia as a part of the educational program “Teach and learn with Georgia.” Local volunteer English language teachers will teach English to the schoolchildren of mountainous regions of Georgia. An English language class cabinet will be opened and all students will be required to pass the exam of English Language (levels: B1, B2) in order to receive a BA diploma. Instruction in the Natural and Exact Sciences will be enhanced and schools will be provided with newly contstructed and equiped experimentation labs.
Programs which support and reward the nation's most successful schoolchildren and students will continue. Teacher salaries will be increased, and the Office of Resource Officers will widen the scope of its activities and will become the member of international association of resource officers. Inclusive education will be further supported by the state.
Funding the studies of the best students for MA programs at the world first class universities will also continue.
40 million GEL will be allocated in the 2012 budget for school infrastructure upgrades and development; twenty new schools will be constructed, and 100,000 new school desks, 5,000 boards, and 25,000 computers will be supplied to schools.
Teacher Houses will be built in Kutaisi, Batumi and Zugdidi; in addition, three vocational educational and two Information centers will be opened. Soni Vocational College and Technological University will be constructed in Batumi, and the National Center of Manuscripts will be renovated.
Supporting vocational and higher education and science will further continue. 37 million GEL will be allocated for conducting different types of research.
The Minister also answered the questions of the cabinet members.