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 education.
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 school.
- COUNTRYAAH: 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 introduced.
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.
- Topmbadirectory: Offers information about politics, geography, and known people in Georgia.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
97.9 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
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 Russia.
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 international law.
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 fraud.
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 elections.
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.