Will pension reforms cause teacher shortage at Azerbaijani schools in Georgia?  - [color=red]RESEARCH[/color]

  • 13:39 22 August 2019

Will pension reforms cause teacher shortage at Azerbaijani schools in Georgia? - RESEARCH

Georgian government accepted reforms pack regarding school teachers who reached retirement age, ONA’s Georgian bureau reports.

According to the document, school teachers who reach pension age can retire based on their own will after receiving lump-sum allowance. This allowance is defined in the amount of 24 times of their last salary, which is the sum of their salary for the next 2 years. Furthermore, according to the document teacher who retire will permanently keep their medical insurance.

According to the official information of the Georgian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, total 64 329 teachers currently work at the Georgian schools. According to the information for July, 16 406 teachers are in their retirement years. Currently, secondary school teachers earn monthly salary of between 800-1000 laris.  

Deputy Minister of the Georgian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Irina Abuladze in her statement she made on July said that approximately 6000 teacher applied for lump-sum allowance for retirement. She stated that first stage of the payment of the allowances will begin on August-September. Second stage is planned for end of the current and beginning of the next year.

Kamran Ramazanli, Researcher on Caucasus told ONA that implementation of the new rules could cause acute shortage of teachers at the Azerbaijani schools of Georgia. According to him, educational problems of our compatriots in Georgia are not new:”During the collapse of the Soviet Union we had 183 Azerbaijani schools, 7000 teachers and about 50 thousand students at the Georgia. However, today we have 117 schools, 3628 teachers, about 26500 students. More than 2500 out of that 26500 students study at the Georgian sections. 80 percent of the teachers are pensioners. In soviet period, people used to come to Azerbaijan for going through educational process and then engaged in teaching. This process stopped after the collapse of the Soviet Union. After 1996, except Georgian language and literature and other 1-2 subjects, preparation of teachers stopped. There is no educational institution of this kind of preparation. One of the unfortunate cases is that in 40 out of 117 schools teachers who teach Azerbaijani language and literature are teachers of other subjects. As this is a critical situation it triggered us to ring an alarm cords”.

According to K.Ramazanli, deputy Minister of Education of Georgia has recently stated in the meeting that teachers of retirement age should be freed by paying lump-sum allowance: “For the reforms point of view, it can be evaluated as positive act, so naturally, teachers of the retirement age should be freed from work. These reforms would not create problems for the Georgian schools, it is their state and they are preparing their teachers. However, it will create problems for the ethnic schools, it had created problems for Armenian schools as well. According to the non-official information, Armenia allocated a quote for Armenian schools and university operates in the Georgian city of Akhaltsikhe for the preparation of teachers for their schools. Taking into consideration that 80% of our teachers are in their retirement age, the number of schools will drop from 117 to 50 in the next 2-3 years and the number of teachers will decrease by twice. We should solve this problem. Educational issue on our national schools is not just problem of the Georgian government. This problem should be solved by the Ministries of Education of both Georgia and Azerbaijan. The solution to this problem is to create a two-language pedagogical university in Tbilisi with the support of the Azerbaijani government - teaching in the Georgian and Azerbaijani languages, training pedagogical staff in accordance with the curriculum. Education in the university should be in both Georgian and Azerbaijani languages. Meanwhile, taking into account the shortage of teachers who teach Azerbaijani language and literature, Azerbaijani government should allocate study places at the Pedagogical University, with the condition that the students should study here and work there”.

Said Babazadeh