Ministry News: Georgia and Great Britain

Posted on November 16, 2011 by

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As the headline goes, “Mr. Dimitri Shashkini met the Minister of State for Schools of Great Britain.”

I tend to find the news feed on the MES website fairly boring, but every once in a while there’s an article that, if you look closely, bears really interesting fruit.

First of all, this article says that 1500 volunteers will arrive in Georgia this year (unlike the last article which said it would be 1500 total having come and gone by the end of this year). So apparently whoever writes these press releases actually has no idea how many volunteers have been/will be here in what time frame. It turns out that official information on the population of volunteers in Georgia, past and present, isn’t available at this time, so I guess we’re all just guessing. Also, this article states that the majority of TLG volunteers are from Great Britain, which would be true… if America hadn’t become its own country in 1783.

By far the more interesting thing to me, however, is the issue of school safety. Last year I posted on my personal blog about my impression of Georgian public schools vs. American public schools, and school safety was one of the places where Georgia stacked up very favorably. I haven’t seen anything like the level of drugs, violence, bullying, and overall brutality in Georgian schools as I personally experienced growing up in New York, and my experience was hardly the worst available in the US.

This article quotes Minister Shashkin as suggesting that Great Britain could learn something about school safety from Georgia. I think this is actually a good point, and also a sort of morbidly hilarious point, given how Great Britain is always in the news these days taking “austerity” measures. I think Georgia should send a report to Great Britain called “How To Prevent Violence In Schools Now That You’re Too Poor To Afford Metal Detectors.” Now that unemployment is driving labor costs down up in the UK, they can afford their own army of Mandators to end school violence, or at least drive it off of school property.

Seriously, though, for all the challenges, Georgian schools are doing a lot of things right, and providing a safe learning environment seems to be one of them.

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Posted in: MES News