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Final changes in the education system

By Keti Arjevanidze
Thursday, November 8
Head of the United National Examinations Maia Miminoshviili held a press conference on November 7th. The main issues of discussion were the changes which the Ministry of Education and United National Examination Center have planned.

Miminoshvili stated that Examination Center wants to establish a Western-style educational system, including a new system of national exit examinations. Starting in 2013 the Examination Center will transfer the responsibility of administering exit exams to individual schools. In Georgia 12th year students have to pass exams in eight subjects to be eligible to take university entrance exams. University entrance tests have three obligatory exams: Georgian language and literature, a foreign language and general abilities. A fourth exam has yet to be determined by universities.

At the meeting Miminoshvili emphasized the role of schools in the national exam process. “Schools have to realize that they have a very important role to play. We are going to convince schools that they have a very important function.” Miminoshvili stated.

According to Miminoshvili the system of examinations will become much more simplified. “We are not going to make big surprises for school graduates and complicate their lives,” Miminoshvili promised.

The Head of the National Examination Center said that she has conducted negotiations with the Minister of Education Giorgi Margvelashvili and all the details have been reviewed carefully. “The new system is very effective, but of course it needs development,” Miminoshvili admitted. She also mentioned that this next year will be a transitional year for education.

Besides the changes, which will affect current 12th year pupils, Miminoshvili also revealed changes for the next academic year's graduates. According to Miminoshvili starting next autumn pupils will take four exams in physics, chemistry, biology and geography. If they fail these exams students will be given another chance to take them the following summer.

Miminoshvili admitted that two to three years is not enough to properly reform the educational system. “Five years is the minimum amount of time needed to reorganize the educational system properly.” Miminoshvili stated. She went on to add that starting next school year pupils will take national exams on computers.