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Saakashvili invites to the land of fools2010-08-04 10:49
A group of foreign teachers is now on a visit to Georgia. English speaking guests is one item in a series of novelties in Georgian education system to be introduced in the coming school year. The authorities claim this is aimed at teaching quality improvement while GeorgiaTimes's interlocutors - Gulbaat Rtskhiladze and Arno Khidiregishvili, head of Eurasia Institute (Tbilisi) and politologist, are certain: the chief goal of the changes is dumbing-down of the young generation.
Thousands of small Buratinos will go to Georgian schools dreaming about the land of knowledge they will find themselves in. Though it's a big question where Alice and Cat Basilio will take them. "As long as fools live in this world, we will live by cheating", as two scoundrels sing Bulat Okudzhava's song luring the protagonist of Alexey Tolstoy's fairy-tale to the land of fools.
Georgian authorities now go by almost the same directive: they deliberately simplify the education system which was one of the strong points in the Soviet Union raising ingenious scholars, creative and thinking people. Now the priority is to bring up a controlled crowd that won't get in the way of government busy selling national interests to foreign geostrategists.
The opposition has already challenged part of the novelties. Last week ex PM Zurab Nogaideli's Movement for Fair Georgia launched a complex analysis of the developments in the education system. Manana Nikolaishvili, a representative of the party, stated that "modernization" in Saakashvili's style leads to a catastrophe.
New curricula, new standards, manuals and textbooks will cause "serious cataclysms". And introduction of ten- and five-star schools (by analogy with hotels) will infringe children's right to equal general education. All the more so that the criteria of this kind of "branding" are too blurred in Georgia and have no tradition like in the West. The result of this innovation will be further social stratification. Children of high-ranking officials from "ten-star" schools will be exempt from 8 state exams introduced this year. Already now, Nogaideli's movement claims, the school provides no more basic knowledge, and rich pupils hire tutors, of the Russian language too. The rest are given the scarcest volume of learning.