Dear Minister, Distinguished Guests!
I would like to respond to the statement of the Secretary General and to congratulate on achieved progress!
Education is a fundamental human right and, therefore, this issue must be a cornerstone of our work in the field of education during the next years.
Today's discussion is really a matter of concern - we have to formulate a new agenda together, to create a common future where no child's interest will be neglected. In the document, which we have received today, all of the major issues are considered.
In the process of reforming the education system in Georgia, we have paid main focus on increasing access to secondary and higher education, as well as the quality of education.
Despite the fact that we already have 12 years free secondary education fully funded by the state on all three levels -elementary, basic and secondary and despite the another fact that only nine years of education is compulsory, access to education and improving the involvement of the a need for investmensts for improvement of access to education and for increase of involvement stills stands.
By means of proposing several large-scale state programs and specific services for schools, we were able to improve the school attendance rate up to 97%. The number of school abandonment has been significantly reduced. As a resul of the programs implemented in the general education, the costs for parents have been reduced by almost 60%. The ongoing pre-school education reform in Georgia guarantees equals and quality education.
Since 2013, the government of Georgia has started a full financing of state-owned professional education institutions fully financed. Based on latest researches and monitoring results of the labor market, it has been decided to fully fund the priority Bachelor programs in state universities.
The budget has been increased terms of financing the social programs for students on bachelor’s and master’s levels. We took into account different groups of people based on ctiterias such as vulnerable, impoverished, living in conflict territory, ethnic, language, age and disabilities.
Funding for teachers has been significantly increased. In order to improve students learning outcomes, a new system of teacher development and support has been developed.
For the purpose implementing the important changes in the field of education, state funding has been steadily increasing for the last few years. The budget allocations for education have been increased by 55% compared to 2012.