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Saakashvili emphasizes value of good education in Georgia

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, April 20
President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili opened a new school in the village of Tadzrisi in Borjomi district and shared several initiatives with the local teachers on April 18. Talking of the school rehabilitation process and upgrading of school infrastructure as one of the priorities of educational reform, Saakashvili emphasized that intensive work was being undertaken in every region of the country.

Recollecting the post August War situation in Georgia, Saakashvili emphasized that investing process was continuous in the educational sector. Talking of the socio-economical problems Tadzrisi and other villages are facing nowadays the President stressed the necessity for giving a chance to children to overcome all the obstacles and succeed in life. “In August 2008 we were attacked [by Russia] trying to restore the Soviet Union on two thirds of our Black Sea coast but we continued rapid development instead of breaking down,” Saakashvili stated.

Confident that Georgia would return its lost territories with the support of the world community the President explained that real independence for the country depends on the quality of education. Positively evaluating the current educational reforms, the President highlighted the importance of the sector in development of the modern state and announced that education has a wider political meaning than the activities of its statesmen. “We are establishing a new educational system with different mental values. We would like to bring up independent citizens of an independent country because only free persons can accomplish success in modern society,” he stated.

Talking of schools as the basis for developing healthy values, President Saakashvili disapproved the fact that Soviet children lived in a stressful environment aimed at bringing up “obedient servants.” “While we want to have free citizens with autonomous personalities following the challenges of the multi-ethnical Georgia and find their places and choose the right ways for achieving success within the global democratic society,” the President stated.

Stressing how decisive the role of teachers had been in the post-August War rehabilitation processes, the Georgian President emphasized the necessity for encouraging teachers by increasing salaries in compliance with the qualification and professionalism of pedagogues. Recollecting the hard 1990s, Saakashvili thanked the teachers for preserving their professional standards. Introducing the initiatives for raising the level of education in our country, he said that the salaries of the best certified teachers may range from GEL 500 to 1000. Moreover the Government will also present the first-form pupils and their teachers with net books. In addition, 1000 successful pupils will be awarded personal computers annually.

Welcoming the domination of Georgian culture on the whole region, Saakahsvili stressed that none of the schools will be left unattended in the country by 2013. “More people are coming back to Georgia rather than leaving the country. That’s because the young people have new chances and hopes in their homeland,” he said stressing that everything is being done in the country for encouraging people. “Today we are facing the struggle between progress and regress in our country. We don’t have an obsession for achieving progress but it is the way of getting final independence,” Saakashvili stated.