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English language prioritized in Georgian schools

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, August 8
English language is becoming mandatory at all the accredited and authorized educational institutions in Georgia. The initiative of the Ministry of Education and Science aims to raise interest towards English language as the main priority for the Government and the initial step for the Georgian citizens to integrate with the international society. On August 5th the First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Koka Seperteladze held a briefing where he explained the principles of the project.

As Seperteladze explained to the media, the Decree of the Ministry refers to the first year students of Bachelor’s degree from the 2011-2012 academic year and would be organized in coordination with the National Examination Center (NAEC). The higher education institutions that get a relevant license from the National Center for Education Quality Enhancement would also be able to carry out English language exams. “Those entrants who passed an English language exam at Unified National Exams should have B2 level in English and those who passed exam in other foreign language should obtain B1 level in English,” he said stressing that the students who hold TOEFl, IELTS or other international certificates in English language will be free from the additional exam.

Deputy Minister of Education and Science Nodar Surguladze explained the six international educational levels to The Messenger. A1 is the starting level for the foreign language and C2 emphasizes the highest educational background – equal to the mother tongue. B1 is the level necessary for overcoming the Unified National Exams in Georgia, while B2 is considered for Master’s degree, followed by C1 – for Doctor’s degree. “Our aim is to give high educational background to the university graduates in English language,” the Deputy Minister said stressing that the NAEC has already started working on the issue.

English language courses considered at the university curriculum for the 2011-2012 academic year would be based on the international standards (TOEFL, IELTS, etc). The students will have an opportunity to take the tests any time before graduation with the Bachelor’s degree. Tests won’t be free but those students who would receive 100% state grants at the Unified National Exams would be sponsored by the Government. The Ministry promised to elaborate the scheme for those with 70% or 50% grants too. The students would have several chances during their four-year-studies but if they fail at their first attempt they would have to cover the fee themselves.