The Quality Assurance System in Georgian Schools 13.08.2012

Date: November 2009    
Title: The Quality Assurance System in Georgian Schools  
Author: Simon Janashia, Assistant Professor, Ilia Chavchavadze State University
Donor: The paper is published with financial support of the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Institute - Budapest. The opinions it contains are solely those of the author and do not reflect the position of the OSI TTF.  
Languages: GeorgianEnglish 
Pages: (Georgian), 13 (English)

A range of reforms to Georgia’s general education system are being carried out. Alongside measures to improve access to education and increase the level of transparency and democratization within the system, one of the main aims of the reforms is the improvement of the quality of education provided. 

There are a number of problems associated with quality assurance in education. Firstly, no consensus exists within society on key issues. For example, what constitutes “quality” in education? Who is responsible for ensuring the quality of education? What effects does quality education have? There is also a lack of a specific strategy on how to go about improving educational standards. The supporting infrastructure needed to improve standards in schools is inadequate. Neither the state nor schools are working in tandem to achieve agreed outcomes. 

The Georgian government has taken many positive steps to improve the education system; steps that may eventually lead to improved standards. Both international and local experience provide lessons that can be learned in this respect.    

International experience suggests that changes in central government policy have little effect when schools themselves lack responsibility and are not interested in improving standards. For this reason, it is essential to encourage change at the school level on the one hand, while raising the burden of responsibility on schools on the other.    

Measures to ensure quality are successful when it is acknowledged that quality assurance doesn’t just imply quality control, but also the development of a standardized system with appropriate support mechanisms. 

The international scholarly consensus on this issue is that it is impossible to develop and execute an effective strategy without first considering the systemic context and the needs of individual students.  An effective system of information gathering, alongside working assessment and support mechanisms, are needed to achieve tangible improvements in standards. Clear targets must also be defined as well as time constraints and the availability of resources.

Article about the publication
The Messenger, January 15, 2010 
Quality assurance in the Georgian educational system

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