“The profession of a teacher should become one of the most prestigious careers to follow,” Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said while meeting with more than 500 teachers from all over the country.
PM Kvirikashvili meets Georgian teachers
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, October 4
The meeting was held in connection to Teacher’s Day, usually celebrated on October 5. Kvirikashvili congratulated the teachers in advance and promised to increase teachers’ average salary up to GEL 800 from 2017.
The PM explained that he was well aware of the hard work that teachers do every day, noting that his mother and grandmother were also teachers.
“I want to tell you that no steps will be made in terms of education and politics without your involvement,” Kvirikashvili said, and added that the education system in general must be fully depoliticized.
“Since politics in Georgia is still closely associated with confrontation and hostility, we aim at maximally distancing politics from schools and the education system,” the PM noted.
Moreover, Kvirikashvili spoke about increasing quality of education. He underlined that the government has introduced the principle of allocating free books to schoolchildren, recovering school bus system at the villages, which increased the attendance in remote schools by 95%.
The PM also spoke about the initiative of the Education Minister, Aleksandre Jejelava, to introduce the concept of so-called Free Lessons, where students and teachers would be able to discuss any topics they wanted or were interested in.
“Schools will become places where pupils are eager to go, where they can obtain education and have a normal talk with their teachers about any topic that bothers them. This is very important,” said Kvirikashvili.
Moreover, the Prime Minister mentioned the teachers’ qualification exams and agreed with the Education Minister that tests and exams shall not be considered as a punitive mechanism for the teachers.
“Teachers should undergo preparatory procedures and be willing to obtain the certification to increase their qualification rather than be waiting for the exams with fear,” said Kvirikashvili and noted that the profession of a teacher - as a central, strategic and determining career shall become rewarding and prestigious in the near future.
The PM claimed that the renovation of the school infrastructure remains a top priority of the government. He said that 1600 public schools have been restored, whereas 10 new schools are being finalized and 10 have opened. Kvirikashvili added that it was intended to fully rehabilitate around 100 public schools and arrange the natural science labs important for the quality of education. 12 such labs have already been arranged recently.
The meeting was conducted in a question-and-answer format and the teachers were able to ask questions to the PM and the Education Minister.