Georgia provides an almost universal primary education, with gross enrolment in secondary education rapidly approaching 100 per cent. However, the quality of education is suffering as a result of an on-going economic crisis and the low allocation of GDP (only two per cent) to education.
Schools are in such dire condition that full rehabilitation would cost more than ten times the annual state expenditure on education as a whole; additionally, teacher salaries remain below the official poverty line. Severe inequalities continue to emerge in education. Parents must pay for textbooks and other student supplies and activities—consequently, two thirds of students remain unable to afford text books and school supplies, with their parents lacking the capacity to meet the school’s financial requirements. The practice of supplementing regular classes with private lessons has become common place for those who can afford it and has become, furthermore, necessary for pupils wishing to enroll in a university post graduation.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, supported by the World Bank, has launched a comprehensive reform process which aims at developing a national curriculum for basic education, developing a national assessment and examination system, enhancing a professional development system, and raising teacher education and professional qualifications.
Of the 10,722 children registered with disabilities, 28 per cent are placed in 22 different institutions. Until recently, there have been few alternatives to institutionalised care or special education for disabled children, as there is currently no policy for special or inclusive education in general education. Disabled children remain isolated from society and have been deprived of their right to receive an education. Moreover, Georgian society continues to stigmatise disabled children.