World economies hampered by the pandemic; countries facing public healthcare crises, with millions killed by COVID-19; thousands of cities under lockdown; social distancing and transformed social practices; countless institutions functioning online; the youth spending endless days and nights in front of computer screens; and, globally, over a year of online education. This is the reality in many countries around the world, including Georgia, in the spring of 2021.
In a recent blog post, Y. Babych and L. Leruth raised several issues related to public infrastructure management in the city of Tbilisi. They observed that the consequences of poor past management practices were highly visible. But some of these consequences are also less visible or less immediate. Take schooling, for example. If the authorities fail to plan for the expected increase in the city’s population over the next few years and neglect to build an adequate number of kindergartens/pre-schools, the results will be overcrowded, fast-decaying pre-schools, and eventually poor educational outcomes. Similarly, as the number of cars keeps growing, the authorities must plan new roads and enhance their maintenance.
The pandemic has taken an enormous toll on human lives and health globally. It has severely impacted the socio-economic state of millions of households, bringing immeasurable human tragedy, paralysis of social connectivity, economic crisis, and, to a certain extent, culture shock.
Education in Georgia is essentially the responsibility of the public sector (the vast majority of total enrolment in the case of General education) and has received a lot of attention in recent years with public outlays to the sector tripling between 2010 and 2019 to reach 3.6 percent of GDP. This remains low by OECD standards, however: OECD countries spend on average a little under 5% of their GDP on education.
This report was prepared under the mandate ‘Analysis of the National Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) in Georgia’ commissioned for the UNDP project ‘Modernization of Vocational Education and Training (VET) System Related to Agriculture in Georgia’. The mandate includes three larger fields of inquiry, namely an analysis of the Georgian AKIS actors and linkages including a visualization, the identification of assets and gaps in the current system, and recommendations on how to improve.