Collaboration Problems between Schools and Society
From February 2016, the Civic Development Institute has launched the EU-funded project "School Youth Network of Collaboration for Sustainable Solutions (SYNCS)", which aims to support Georgian youth participation in solving local problems.
The Civic Development Institute has been cooperating with schools and communities during the last two years using different tools. Within the framework of the project, a policy document on school and public cooperation was prepared, which collates the practice of relations between the school and the public in Georgia and European countries.
The main findings of the policy document are:
School autonomy is guaranteed by the legislation of Georgia. However, there are no legal grounds in hierarchically higher legal acts for issuing such an act.
This research conducted with the principals, teachers, and non-governmental organizations proves that school openness and relationship with the society is important. Although, the hindering circumstances are both the Ministry regulations and absence of clear regulations and established school practices - transferring responsibility to the Ministry in order to avoid responsibility. Besides, the risks of full school openness were pointed out. It is necessary to have a reasonable and specific “filter”.
As a result of the analysis of the regulations and practices in Georgia, and based on the study of focus groups, it is revealed that the system is oriented towards control and it doesn’t encourage relationships between public schools and society.
Policy paper recommendations are:
The Ministry should promote relationships between schools and society. The system, first of all, should be oriented towards encouraging relationships between schools and society, as well as towards control.
It is recommended to create and publish electronic base of the organizations which will have the right to enter the school without the Ministry’s consent. A school should make a decision independently.
Policy paper can be downloaded on the web-site of Civic Development Institute on the following link.
By the end of 2017, the Civil Development Institute conducted discussion of this policy document and advocacy activities in different cities of Georgia, such as: Telavi, Gori, Zugdidi, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe. Teachers, pupils, students and representatives of NGOs attended these meetings.
The project is funded by European Union and implemented by Civic Development Institute in cooperation with World Vision and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.