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Shashkin to divide the country into castes29.03.2011 | 23:05
Georgian school children and their parents have had enough "nice" things from head Georgia's ministry of education Dmitry Shashkin. Mikheil Saakashili's favorite, he does not care at all that people under his care are not happy about new additional exams or crowds of foreign teachers. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed what consequences the destructive policies in education will lead to with Petre Mamradze, a deputy of Georgian parliament.
Dmitry Shashkin's speech before deputies as part of the "governmental week" was a bright example of "best defense is offence" principle that Shashkin has grown used to over the years of work as minister of punishment execution, probation and legal assistance. Shashkin immediately came down with criticism on deputies from the opposition. According to him, current novelties will solve all problems in schools and colleges of the country. And there are a lot of them, as the minister states. He again reconfirmed his commitment to examinations. "A school leaver must know that valency has nothing to do with Saint Valentine's day and Charles de Gaulle is not an Egyptian pharaoh", - Shashkin said. Let's believe that these examples were only hypothetical and
don't refer to tests of Georgian pupils.
However, as Petre Mamradze, a parliamentary deputy, thinks, the level of teaching in schools has gone so drastically down due to Shashkin's reforms that such revelations may be quite real. "I don't see positive results from these changes. In most schools the teaching process is simply ruined. All specialists, all experts I deal with state that the situation is very complicated. This is not what our people, our young people want", - he said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes correspondent adding that the level of education in Georgia has deteriorated significantly since the Rose Revolution.
According to Mamradze, the idea of tests for Georgian senior school goers might trigger massive bribery and protectionism in the educational sphere. "I completely disapprove of this decision. It was adopted without any preparation. I talked to those who were preparing these amendments, and they were shocked at how fast they were implemented. At the beginning they wanted to raise the level of teaching, and then only introduce new exams", - Mamradze emphasizes. - Now Georgian school children have to hire private teachers, and schools fail to provide necessary knowledge. Huge money is spent on tutors and the state gets nothing".
Petre Mamradze is also critical about the new idea of the education minister and introduction of a special school rating. According to him, this system will divide the society into castes. He remarks that if this novelty is introduced, children of Georgia's political elite will study in better conditions as compared with their contemporaries. "Many experts criticize the new system of school ranking in private and in public. The objective is to single out educational institutions attended by children of Georgian leaders. Besides, it is rumored that schools that will have a high rating - those attended by "privileged pupils", naturally - will be exempt from additional final exams. Thus we will have a new rule that children of the elite will leave school on special conditions", - Petre Mamradze says in indignation.
The parliamentarian notes with regret that minister of education Dmitry Shashkin is quite far from vital problems of today's teachers, students and school goers. "His job is speaking. Unfortunately, all our government does that. When it comes down to business, when the minister apologizes to a foreign gay teacher that tried to pervert his pupils and accuses people of violating laws of Caucasian hospitality - there is no good to be expected", - Petre Mamradze adds.
As for Dmitry Shashkin, he is quite satisfied with his activities. After all he fulfills his number one task to americanize Georgian children and liquidate last traces of Russian culture in schools of the republic. As the minister highlighted in his speech in front of the deputies, a lot of school leavers choose English, not Russian for exams. Apparently, these processes will soon affect other spheres and in a few years' time geography lessons in Georgian schools will start with a phrase pronounced in pure English "Washington is the capital of Georgia".