Georgians were known during the Soviet era
for their comparatively high level of education. After
independence in 1991, the entire educational system was
in crisis due to lack of money. The government is now
trying to encourage the emergence of private schools
where the parents themselves pay for the children's
In 2018, the Georgian Ministry of Education stated
that there were 224 private schools and 2,085 schools in
the public system.
The state schools are in principle free of charge,
but the cost of books and other equipment means that
some parents cannot afford to send their children to
Country facts of Georgia, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
There is a nine-year compulsory schooling for
children from the age of six. Entry to universities and
other higher education requires continued studies in
high school, vocational school or vocational school for
two or three years.
Georgian is the dominant language of instruction, but
teaching is also provided in several minority languages.
Students who speak Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian
generally live in urban areas, but a study conducted in
2016 showed that it was mainly in Russian that
translated textbooks held good quality. For minority
groups with fewer speakers, there has previously been
almost no teaching in the home language, but since 2015
there are village schools that teach, among other
things, Ossetic, Kurdish and Assyrian. One goal of
school policy is for educated Georgian teachers to act
as mentors for people who lack teacher education but
teach in smaller languages.
In cooperation with the World Bank, the entire
education system was overhauled in the early 2000s. New
curriculum, new books and national exams were
There are more than twenty colleges and universities
as well as a number of private colleges. University
education is conducted almost exclusively in Georgian.
Winery is a vocational and college subject, with
support from, among others, Germany. The vineyard has
many millennial roots in the country and today
constitutes an export industry.
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
97.9 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
99.6 percent (2014)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
13.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
13.0 percent (2017)
Two more years for EU observers
The European Council decides to extend the mandate of the EU observer force
in Georgia by two more years, until December 14, 2018. The force has been in
place since October 1, 2009, less than two months after the five-day war against
Protest against Russian-Abkhazian agreement
Georgia protests against the fact that the outbreak Republic of Abkhazia has
entered into a military agreement with Russia. Under the agreement, Russia and
Abkhazia will form a joint military force and a new Russian military base will
be built in the area that is internationally regarded as part of Georgia. In the
event of war, the joint military force will be led directly by the Russian
Ministry of Defense. The United States comments that the agreement has no
Landslide victory for Georgian dream
In the second round, candidates for Georgian dream win in 48 of the 50
remaining constituencies. The other two places go to independent candidates. Of
the new Parliament's 150 seats, a total of 115 Georgian dreams accrue, while the
United National Movement stays in 27 seats and the pro-Russian Georgian Patriots
alliance of 6. The superior victory gives the Georgian dream the right to
enforce constitutional changes on its own. Even after the second round of
elections, the opposition parties accuse the government of gross electoral
Georgian dream goes to victory
In the parliamentary elections in early October, the ruling Georgian dream
takes a clear lead and receives almost half of the votes, against just over a
quarter of the former power party United National Movement in the part of the
election that is decided according to party lists. For the first time since the
country's independence in 1991, a pro-Russian party, the Georgian Patriots
Alliance, succeeds in entering Parliament. After commuting around the five
percent barrier during the vote count, it stays at 5.01 percent. The party wants
to see closer cooperation with Russia and is strongly opposed to a Georgian NATO
membership. Most opposition parties protest alleged fraud and accuse the
government of "stealing" the election, but observers from the OSCE, NATO, the
Council of Europeand the European Parliament, in a joint statement, describes
the election which, on the whole, has been well executed. They say that the
people's fundamental freedom of choice has been respected but note that the
election was preceded by accusations of violating the campaign rules and some
violence. According to the observers, the government alliance has been favored
by the political climate and the funding of the election campaigns. Before all
seats can be distributed, a second round of elections awaits most direct
Merabishvili is sentenced again
Former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili is sentenced to 6.5 years in prison
for mistreatment by a Member of Parliament in 2005. He is already serving a
multi-year sentence for abuse of power and corruption (see February 2014). He
was one of the front figures during the 2003 Roses revolution and was Minister
of the Interior for more than seven years. Critics of the current government,
like the European Court of Justice, believe that the imprisonment of
Merabishvili has been for political reasons.
"Closer to NATO"
NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says during a visit to Tbilisi that Georgia has
approached membership in the defense alliance by strengthening its democracy and
the social institutions.
South Ossetia will vote on Russia
Authorities in the breakaway republic of South Ossetia say that a referendum
will be held sometime in 2017 to formally connect the area to Russia.
Protests against prison sentences
Four high-ranking defense employees and a former official at the Ministry of
Defense are sentenced to prison for seven years each for embezzlement.
Opposition leaders protest against the judges, claiming they are part of the
government's dirty throwing of former Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, who was
dismissed in November 2014 and is now a popular opposition politician.
Military exercise with USA, UK
About 500 Georgian soldiers embark on a two-week military exercise outside
Tbilisi, along with 650 American and 150 British soldiers. It is described as
the largest exercise of its kind in the country so far and is condemned as a
provocation by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Criticism of discrimination
The Council of Europe calls on Georgia to strengthen laws that protect people
from discrimination. The Council is concerned that hate speech and violence
against religious and sexual minorities has become more common.
ICC investigates war crimes in 2008
Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague are
launching an investigation into possible war crimes in Georgia during the war
with Russia in 2008. The investigation concerns suspicions of murder, forced
displacement and persecution of civilians and attacks against civilians. Georgia
accuses Russia of ethnic cleansing of Georgians from South Ossetia and murder of
Georgians. Accusations of Georgian abuse have been made by Russia.
Criticism from the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe calls on Georgia to strengthen the independence of the
judiciary. The organization, which is mainly concerned with human rights, is
concerned by signs that the authorities are using the courts for political
settlements with the opposition. Since the change of power in 2012, dozens of
high-ranking officials from President Micheil Saakashvili's government have been
prosecuted for, among other things, abuse of power and corruption.