Saakashvili: Lazika, more reforms in education
Tuesday, September 4
The President of Georgia met with youth members at Anaklia's Patriot Camp. Mikheil Saakashvili spoke to them about the importance of involving the public in the process of building the new city Lazika. According to the Saakashvili, Georgian specialists should be the ones to build this city, and for this the country needs many new specialists. The Head of State noted that Georgia must continue to develop and jobs must be created so that every family benefits, and new centers of trade, industry, logistics and tourism are created in the regions.
“We began construction of the Lazika seaport approximately one-week ago, and you can see it from here. We will open Lazika City Hall and seaport administration in September– this is the center that everything will be developed around. To us, it is very important that the public actively participates in the construction of Lazika. This means that we will organize seminars, public debates, and television reviews here. Firstly, this seaport will be built, and later a city around it and I want the public to actively participate in this affair in order for us to consider everyone’s opinion. Georgia is a democratic country building a new city. We won’t be able to do it like it is done elsewhere, in centralized government regime systems, where everything depends on one person. We are a country which has a collective people’s government,” stated the President of Georgia.
Mikheil Saakashvili later focused attention on the existing changes in the education system of which he distinguished one change. He mainly touched on the education financing issue. According to him, a prospective student, who has passed the minimal requirement on the national exams but has no means of financing an education, can approach the Ministry of Defense, go through a 12 month military service, and in return, the state will finance 4 years of higher education for that student. On the other hand, those who could not even satisfy the minimal point requirement can better their scores throughout the entire year.
“We have interesting changes in the education system. Firstly, I want to tell the prospective students who could not pass exams this year that from now on they can basically take exams each month. They will be able to arrive at test centers each month and take exams in the desired subjects. This will be a motivation for sophistication. We have the same approach towards teachers. They will be able to pass exams in a similar way…so if you couldn’t do it in summer, you can take the exams in September, October, November…now the second issue. Let’s say you have passed the minimum requirement, but do not have enough money to finance your education. You have a chance to retake the exams at the end of each academic year and better your results. For example, if you have a partial scholarship the first year and you do well, then it is possible for you to have a 100% tuition scholarship the following year. The Ministry of Defense offers everyone a 12 month service, after which it will finance all four years of their education in universities. Despite what kind of income your families have, this gives you an opportunity to go to college no matter what. If you go through a two-year military service then you will have a contract with the Ministry of Defense regarding the financing of your Master’s Degree. No matter where young people live across the unoccupied parts of Georgia, we have to give all of them an opportunity to have new prospects,” noted the Head of State.