- Human Resource Management
- public information
The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mikheil Chkhenkeli, during his speech in the legislative body in the format of the minister's hour, spoke about the new projects that contribute to the development of the quality of general education and bringing it even closer to European standards.
According to the minister, in order to create a modern educational environment in schools, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia is intensively implementing the process of implementing the third generation, competence-based national curriculum, which includes: conducting the learning process in a student-oriented manner, improving learning resources, using digital technologies, professional support for teachers, changing the learning methodology, institutional strengthening of the school, increasing the degree of its autonomy and improving the school infrastructure.
As the minister noted, within the framework of the general education reform, the development of strong mechanisms supporting schools has a special place.
Mikheil Chkhenkeli: "On our initiative, for the first time in the system, all schools carry out self-assessment, which allows for targeted support of schools. This process will be completed by the end of 2022.
The results of the large-scale diagnostic self-assessment analysis will be the basis for the planning of the authorization process within the deadlines established by the law, which will increase the system's capacity to implement the institutional self-assessment process. In addition, the results of the conducted analysis will become the basis for the systematic assessment of compliance with the new standards of school authorization and the coordinated planning and implementation of relevant supporting interventions by the Ministry and its subordinate agencies.
It is important that within the framework of the reform, all schools will be subject to authorization by the end of 2026. The main goal of this process is to bring national standards closer to international standards, taking into account the best foreign practices. The updated standards take into account the features of the third-generation national curriculum, and their introduction into the system will help improve the authorization process as an external quality assurance mechanism and make it a school support mechanism. The standards will create a quality assurance framework, within which general educational institutions will be given the opportunity to develop taking into account their own specifics.
According to the minister, within the framework of the reform, a group of quality certified specialists was trained to ensure the quality of general education in the primary system, which will provide support to schools on the ground, both in the process of implementing the national curriculum, as well as in the process of self-assessment and preparation for authorization.
Furthermore, during his speech, Mikheil Chkhenkeli singled out the issue of providing students with high-quality textbooks. According to him, in this direction, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia attaches great importance to the involvement of the public in the process of creating school textbooks. Based on the above, the mock-ups of all textbooks are publicly published and any interested individual has the opportunity to get acquainted with the draft manuscript and submit comments/recommendations on them. It is worth noting that before the beginning of the 2022-2023 academic year, the 10th grade textbooks were fully completed. A competition has been announced for the creation of textbooks for classes I, II and XI, which provides an opportunity to reflect the latest developments and modern teaching approaches in the textbooks. At the same time, translation of new printed textbooks into the languages of national minorities is currently underway.
Additionally, the minister drew attention to the importance of improving the quality of education of students with special educational needs. According to him, the Ministry's priority is to increase access to continuous education for students with special educational needs and to promote their civil integration.
"In order to support students with special educational needs, an updated model of inclusive education management was developed, which will allow us to provide all necessary services for the personal development of students with special educational needs. In recent years, special education teachers have become an integral part of a vocational development and career progression scheme and have been given the opportunity to grow professionally. In addition, the salary policy of special teachers was defined. A number of steps are being taken to support special teachers and to appreciate them, among them it is worth noting that the competition for the best special teacher is being held for the second year already." stated Mikheil Chkhenkeli.
Moreover, the minister emphasized the support for the integration of national minorities within the current reform in the general education system. According to him, the process of introducing the bilingually national curriculum continues. It should be noted that teaching with a bilingual approach is taking place at the primary level of 41 non-Georgian schools. The process of bilingual implementation of the national curriculum will be gradually expanded, for which appropriate financial resources have been allocated and human resources are being prepared.
It is especially noteworthy that this year, for the first time, Azerbaijani and Armenian language teachers were given the opportunity to pass the subject test in their native language, which ensures both the high quality of teaching the Azerbaijani and Armenian languages, as well as new opportunities for the teacher's professional advancement.
As Mikheil Chkhenkeli stated in his speech, the main priority of the Ministry of Education and Science is taking care of students and, at the same time, raising the quality of general education and promoting the professional development of teachers. According to him, it is important to have highly qualified teachers in the system, who will give the students relevant knowledge of the 21st century. To achieve these goals, a number of consistent steps have already been taken within the framework of the reform – as you know, those practicing teachers who could not raise their status have already left the system.
It is important that this year, for the first time, the Ministry approved such a mechanism for the selection of teachers, in which, in addition to school representatives, subject experts and external organizations participate on a commission basis, which ensures more transparency of the selection procedure.
Furthermore, the minister noted that from January 2023, it is planned to increase the salary of teachers and resource officers of public schools by 125 GEL, and the salary of administrative and technical staff of the school by 10%. In addition, in active cooperation with the Ministries of Finance and IDPs from the Occupied Territories, Labour, Health and Social Protection and the Committees of Education and Health Protection and Social Affairs, school teachers on maternity leave will be paid from 2023.
During his speech, Mikheil Chkhenkeli also spoke about the support of public school principals. According to him, the Ministry has developed a new concept of school management, based on which, in 2022, in cooperation with international partners, the updated standard of the school principal was prepared. The new standard is focused on strengthening the functions of the school principal as an educational leader.
Owing to initiative of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the process of certification of applicants for public school executive management has been started. In this process, the Ministry offers unprecedented support to all applicants. Free webinars, informational meetings and consultations are offered.
Along with certification, retraining is offered to current directors. In this way, a support system for principals is formed, which will contribute to the further professional development of school leaders. In 2023, it is planned to present candidates for directorships to the boards of trustees of public schools.