Tbilisi City Hall taking charge of pre-school education
By Salome Modebadze
Friday, August 5
The Tbilisi Kindergarten Agency established by Tbilisi City Hall is taking responsibility for improving the environment for pre-school children. The non-commercial legal entity would unite the public kindergartens around the capital with international standards and innovative methodology. Official registration starts from August 15 and Kindergartens will be accessible to any child aged 2-5 from September. Mamuka Katsarava, Head of Social and Cultural Services of Tbilisi City Hall, said the new agency would provide the kindergartens with innovative methodological and administrative activities.
“A group of psychologists, experts and specialists has been working on educational changes for pre-school children, while students studied the international practice and elaborated recommendations for improving the system on the internal level,” Katsarava stated. After the successful introduction of the initial stage of the pre-school educational reform Katsarava announced that project would also provide the teachers with trainings aimed at improving their skills. Highlighting that the main purpose of the reform was to create “a model based on social fairness” Katsarava hoped that it would eradicate the existing drawbacks in the system and ensure transparency of expenses at kindergartens.
Each kindergarten would have their individual charges which should be enough for covering all the needs of the children. Families with several children would receive special discounts e.g. covering the entire charge for their first child; they would pay only the half amount (50%) for the second child, while their third child would join the kindergarten for free. Children from socially unprotected families or those who need special care will be fully funded by Tbilisi City Hall. Children would have an opportunity to take all the additional courses (dancing, painting, singing, etc) which were unaffordable for the majority while the increased responsibility [of the teachers] according to the Head of Social and Cultural Services would be reflected appropriately in their salaries too.
It is so far unknown how much the improved kindergartens would cost but at present they spend around GEL 80 far an individual child per month. As for the private kindergartens, their monthly fee is around GEL 50-100 – depending on the age of the child. As one of the teachers of Tom & Jerry private kindergarten explained to The Messenger, they have 3-6 children at each group [aged 2-6] that makes them more preferable for parents. “What seems to be the most attractive for the families is the safety of our kindergarten: the fact that we have so few children in each group makes them more satisfied because they are sure that as a teacher I pay equal attention to them all,” she stated.
The reform initiated by Tbilisi City Hall would according to officials put every child in equal conditions – each of them despite his/her social status would be educated in an equal environment and take all the courses which had been inaccessible for them in past. Parents interested in the new service can find detailed information at the official web-page of the Tbilisi Kindergarten Agency at www.kids.org.ge.