Another wave of foreign teachers in Georgia
21 April, 2011
Another wave of foreign teachers in Georgia

‘This process cannot produce a large-scale effect…’


According to the Ministry of Education and Science, arrival of the new wave of volunteer English language teachers has just been completed as foreseen by the education program ‘Teach and Study with the Whole Georgia’. This time they come from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. This is the third wave of foreign teachers who arrived in Tbilisi. Their total number in Georgia now nears 2000.
As the Ministry

of Education and Science informs, the English language teachers will receive traditional induction trainings and then get teaching positions in various schools of Samegrelo (Western Georgia) and Kvemo Kartli (Eastern Georgia) regions. In the regions they would first undergo a preparatory stage and then join the teaching processes together with local teachers.
The Ministry plans to continue the program “Teach and Study with Entire Georgia”. This idea was the brainchild of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. At the time, he stated his main demand that all children of school age, i.e. from 5 to 16, should become versed in English language. He also predicted that this task would be accomplished in four years. The President was sure that this way Georgia would develop quicker and make a great leap forward in the coming decade.
“This process cannot create a large-scale effect but it is good for regular English language contacts of pupils and improvement of English speaking skills,” – this is the position of the people who support visits of foreign teachers to Georgia.
Naturally there are also the people who oppose it. The peak of negative feedbacks surged through the social network after the publication of photos depicting one of the visiting foreign teachers. On spotting the photos, many decided that the person on the photo should better be avoided by pupils. Later, representatives of political parties joined the outcry. Opposition leaders keep saying till today that it is better to prepare local teachers abroad and bring them back for further teaching.
“If a person is not honest, he or she has a chance to do nothing. First of all, they should raise qualification of teachers. Hence, they should be committed to have the English language teachers talk to them in English. As you know, practice is paramount for studying a foreign language. Our teachers more or less know how to write and read. But it is lack of practice that prevents them to speak and understand the English speech properly. In other words, they are lacking exactly what these foreign teachers are good at. Accordingly, I think these foreign teachers should be used to this end. Somebody should control the process! In general, I believe that the project is a necessity but its realization is a completely different story of improper deeds. I have no idea who controls them. The fact is, they are not subordinated to school directors. They do not receive salaries from the schools, nor do they have any contractual obligations with schools. In all cases they are directly accountable to the Ministry.”

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