Deputy Minister of Education and Science Davit Zurabishvili held a press conference on November 1st. The main issue of discussion was possible changes in the education system.
Possible changes in the education system
By Keti Arjevanidze
Friday, November 2
Financing for the Ministry of Education and Science will be increased for the 2013 budget. According to Zurabishvili the increased budget will increase the salary of teachers, funds for student’s grants and finances for students who need social assistance.
According to the Deputy Minister the requirements for teacher certification will also change. Zurabishvili announced that the current teacher certification process will be reviewed because in his opinion "...not enough is being done to determine whether a teacher is good or bad." Teaching observations will likely become part of teacher certification. “In the certificate practice must be included." Zurabishvili stated.
According to the Deputy Minister teachers' salaries will increase starting next year, but the exact amount was not cited. “We can’t say whether it will double or triple but it will definitely increase.” Zurabishvili stated adding that there is enough money in the current budget to allow salary increases. "Step by step salaries will reach a normal amount." Zurabishvili promised.
Zurabishvili also touched on the issue of students' grant financing. According to Zurabishvili the grant funding for students will increase. “In the existing budget there was the possibility to increase student finances, but the funds were allocated for useless projects. In general grant amounts will increase, and we will lead negotiations with the Ministry of Finance." Zurabishvili stated.
The deputy also commented on the possible establishment of a British model education system. Under this model students who are not planning on attending university could leave school after the 10th grade/form. Those who plan on attending university would spend their final two years of school studying for specific subjects on the national exams. “The final decision on the British model has not been taken. The discussion is still ongoing, There are a lot of models but I prefer the British model." Zurabisvili informed those present.
Zurabishvili excluded the possibility of abolishing resource officers. He admitted that after introducing resource officers the amount of crime in schools has decreased and attendance has increased and therefore resource officers should be retained. According to Zurabishvili the Ministry of Education does however plan on reviewing resource officers' duties and functions. “We think that resource officers mustn’t interfere in the process of studying, their primary concern should be safety in schools and therefore we will review the obligations of resource officers." Zurabishvili stated.