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Older teaches outnumber the young in Georgia

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, December 2
According to the information of the Educational Institutions Catalog, the number of older teachers significantly outnumber young ones in Georgian schools.

For example, in Tbilisi, the number of teachers who are 20-30 years old is 504, while those of 40-50 comes to about 2,790. The statistical information reveals that retirement-aged teachers outnumber young ones by 30%.

Specialists state that the current situation in schools gives a little chance for young teachers to find jobs. They claim that reforms initiated by the Ministry of Education are essential for creating a new system that will employ qualified staff and dismiss those teachers who lack professionalism and the appropriate skills.

According to Assistant Professor at Ilia State University Sopho Gorgadze, the situation in schools will remain the same until the ministry replaces the current uncertified teachers with certified ones.

The Ministry of Education launched the teachers’ certification process several years ago and it was stressed that after the certification, those teachers who fail the exams would be replaced by those who successfully passed them. The outcomes were quite poor after the certification process. In some subjects, only 5% of teachers managed to receive certificates. However, it is still not obligatory for uncertified teachers to be dismissed from schools.

“There is no official decree over the issue. Directors are confused whether to retain or dismiss such staff,” Gorgadze says.

Expert of Education Simon Janashia said that profession of teacher has lost its popularity during the recent years and some steps are required, concerning salaries as well, the profession to be promoted.

“Due to the fact that this profession is not popular, pedagogical faculties are mostly filled with low-scoring students. The government should pay attention to the issues and create normal conditions for teachers,” he said.

Deputy Director of the Center for Teacher Professional Development Irina Abuladze said that the situation in schools is not alarming.

“In fact, I see no problem in age, but the integration of the new generation is necessary. We must create an equal situation for everyone and choose only the best candidates through transparent competitions,” stated Abuladze.

The government states that education is a priority and teachers’ salaries will be increased from 2015. However, statements concerning the replacement of non-qualified staff with professionals have not been made yet.