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Georgia: Education Gap Has Alarming Economic Ramifications

Parents in Georgia are increasingly opting for a private, and a better, education. (Photo: Monica Ellena)

When Rusudan, a 47-year-old woman from Georgia’s western city of Zugdidi, decided to move her son from a public school to a private school seven years ago, it was not a light-hearted decision. Like many of her generation, she favors public education. Yet, despite nearly a decade of reforms, public schools in Georgia are falling short.
 
“The conditions were simply not good enough,” Rusudan, who asked that her surname not be printed, said about her choice to move her kids out of the local public school. “The school was decaying, classes were cramped, and teachers were stuck in Soviet-style methods. There was no interaction, students were ‘taught at’ as a single entity, with no consideration of the individual specifics.”
 
Despite a bevy of reforms since 2005, the quality of Georgia’s education system ranked 98th out of 144 countries surveyed, according to a 2014 ranking compiled by the World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization.
 

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Monica Ellena is a Tbilisi-based freelance journalist, who has worked previously as an elementary school teacher in Italy and a university instructor in Georgia.

Georgia: Education Gap Has Alarming Economic Ramifications

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