Perspectives on Meeting with the Minister

Posted on May 9, 2011 by


Charlie has just posted on this blog about meetings between TLG volunteers and Minister Shashkin, including a basic summary of the information the Minister laid out for volunteers and some of the concerns the volunteers shared.

Blogger smulka2 at Going R.O.G. shared her thoughts on the meetings after the first one in March:

We are all frustrated to some extent with the schools. However, the minister pointed out certain things to illustrate how much progress has already been made, and just to realize where they were starting from. In terms of the structures themselves, many schools did not have windows just ten years ago. Though some may complain that their schools are freezing, imagine not even having glass on the frame, and people would use whatever wood they could find in the school to board them up.

She concluded on a positive note:

This session with the minister lifted my spirits at least. I have never seriously thought, “What am I doing here?” but there have certainly been some bad days. I love Georgia so much and I desperately want the country to succeed and be able to stand on its own two feet. If I can have any small part in Georgia’s progress, then my months spent here are worth while.

I also discussed that meeting on my blog in a post that was picked up by and the MES website:

[Minister Shashkin] pointed out that Georgian schools have come very far in the years since the Rose Revolution. He pointed out that English has already overtaken Russian as the language of choice on Georgian foreign language certification exams… Shashkin also addressed teacher salaries, teacher training, and school infrastructure improvements.

As I said there, I think that the meetings were a very positive step in building communication within TLG and that the Minister did a good job of addressing the questions and concerns of the TLG volunteers.

Of course we’d love to hear from other volunteers about their perspectives and thoughts on the meetings. Were all of the meetings about the same? Was there a particularly interesting question or comment made at the meeting in your location? How did the meetings make you feel about your job, TLG, and the Georgian educational system overall? Feel free to share in the comments section or send in a link to another blog post or article about them!