A conference "For the Reform in General Education System"

The Georgian coalition For Education For All has presented the coalition position paper "For the Reform in General Education System", reflecting recommendations on development of teachers professional associations policy and school board of trustees during the conference organized by the coalition on November 13, at the Radisson Blu Iveria hotel.
The deputy minister of Education and Science Mrs. Lia Gigauri, director of Teachers Professional Development Centre (TPDC) Mr. Giorgi Machabeli, Deputy director of the centre Mrs. Irina Abuladze, representatives of MES agencies, local and international civil organizations and education field experts participated the conference.
Representative of the International Institute of Education Policy Planning and Management, the coalition's chairman of the board Mr. Revaz Apkhazava opened the event. He briefly described the cause of gathering and shared with the audience information on studies conducted by the coalition. The member of the coalition board, president of Educators and Scientists Free Trade Union of Georgia, Mrs. Maya Kobakhidze introduced to participants the vision and position of the Education International regarding teachers needs in relation of Education For All and Millennium Development Goal programs and Post 2015 Development Plan. Noteworthy, that Education International has been engaged in monitoring process of programs fulfilment.
Problem analyse and recommendations on teachers professional associations and school board of trustees, presented at the conference, are incorporated in the coalition position paper and based on conducted focus groups studies and analyse of other countries experience in that direction. The coalition member organizations - Association School, Family, Society (on teachers professional associations development policy) and International Institute of Education Policy Planning and Management (on school board of trustees development policy) respectively, carried focus group studies and elaborated recommendations.
After presentation on each topic participants engaged in discussion. In regards of state policy toward development of teachers professional associations Mrs. Lia Giagauri noted, that although, the Ministry is ready to take steps in that direction to develop favourable environment and stimulating mechanisms, the initiative and demand should be coming from teachers itself when they see a necessity of creating and increasing capacity of such associations, just with outside assistance and incentives alone associations wouldn't fulfil assigned role they should be carrying. The coalition representative, executive director of Centre for Training and Consultancy Mrs. Irina Khantadze stated, that professional associations can't be seeing as just training service providers, but should be developed into organizations, which will have capacity to establish subject professionals network, where they could share experience, carry advocacy, hold conferences, participate in policy development and assessment processes, development of licensed and supplementary textbooks.
Speaking about school board of trustees institute, in Mrs.Tamuna Bregvadze's opinion, who represents International Institute of Education Policy Planning and Management, the coalition member organization, school board of trustees can't be perceived as a separate entity or structure, its perception and respective interventions related to it should be discussed in whole context of the school - in parallel with teachers council, students self government, administration and community and therefore, approaches regarding school board of trustees should be structured on idea of differential, based on context. Education expert and Ilia University associated professor Mr. Simon Janashia pointed, that state's vision and tools should be synchronized, state can't have, for example decentralized vision and centralized tools at same time, or vice versa. That type of model usually doesn't work. This too, he sees as one of the reasons that existing board of trustees are ineffective.
Summarizing the conference Mr. Giorgi Machabeli, Director of Teachers Professional Development Centre expressed Centre's readiness to initiate formation of working group comprising of civil society and MES representatives to develop common vision on state policy and stimulating mechanisms regarding these two issues.
Conference has lasted for 3 hours.

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