The FINANCIAL -- British-Georgian Academy, a private secondary school in Georgia, is going to improve facilities for students, building an international standard sports hall and new gaming and sports squares.
Located near Tbilisi’s Lisi Lake, the Academy strives to offer the best education to its students as well as create a favourable environment for them.
Its mission is to equip students with the essential knowledge, skills, and expertise they need to realise their full potential, both academic and personal, and succeed in work and life in the increasingly dynamic 21st century.
“This includes the development of core academic subject knowledge and understanding as well as developing intellectual, personal, social, emotional and physical skills,” says the Director of British-Georgian Academy, Zurab Samarghanishvili.
“The British-Georgian Academy follows the national curriculum created by Georgia’s Ministry of Education which strictly regulates the list of subjects that should be taught at different levels. In spite of this, we try to teach students those subjects that are also taught in international educational institutions. Furthermore, from the next academic year, our great desire is for students to be more interested in participating in extracurricular programmes and civil activities; to involve them in international and local Olympiads, conferences or expeditions,” he added.
Founded in 2006, the British-Georgian Academy has 480 students annually. The price of education is USD 5,500 equivalent in Georgian Lari for the I-VIII and USD 5,900 equivalent in Lari for the IX-XII classes.
The British-Georgian Academy has won a Golden Brand award and become the N1 private school in Georgia.
“British-Georgian Academy is distinguished for its diverse and experienced schooling community that unites students, teachers and parents. One of the aspects that conditions high standard education at our academy is the high level of cooperation between the academics of the school community. This does not mean that we all have the same opinion. Sometimes we have different views, but our strength is that we do not find it difficult to consolidate different opinions and then act following the interests of the pupils. Information about this is not solely known within the walls of the British-Georgian Academy and is probably one of the reasons why we deserve to be honoured by the Golden Brand Awards,” Samarghanishvili said.
“Receiving this award indicates that we have taken the right path and we should continue to develop in the same way in the future,” he added.
Q. British-Georgian Academy claims that it offers the best quality education to pupils. Please can you elaborate on how exactly the Academy manages to offer the best quality education?
A. At British-Georgian Academy we believe that quality education in today’s dynamic world is one of the most important preconditions for success. In order for our students to be successful, first of all, we care about giving teachers the opportunity to develop and have access to information, which is important in terms of modern teaching methodology.
We constantly monitor the learning process and, if necessary, give teachers the recommendations and instructions that will make the teaching process more effective in our opinion.
In addition, for us the concept of ‘best quality education’ does not only mean the development of subjective competence through deepening of actual knowledge. For us it is important that pupils can work independently, evaluate the events and news with critical eyes and most importantly, cooperate with each other.
Q. In general, how would you evaluate the current education system in Georgia and what changes should be made for its further improvement?
A. Over the last decade, it has become clear that a number of steps have been taken in this field that are aimed at the modernisation of education, raising teachers’ qualifications, creating a safe environment and improving general standards. In spite of this, however, there is still much to improve in each direction.
Starting from 2018, a new national curriculum will come into force for primary schools, which is significantly improved compared to the previous version. The national curriculum for basic schooling is in the process of consideration.
What I wish is for those schools that meet high educational standards in Georgia to have more flexibility. For example, according to the legislation, we cannot employ a teacher who has international certificates such as Cambridge University Celta and Delta certificates, but does not hold so-called teacher’s status.
Q. You say that there is an innovative environment at British-Georgian Academy. Can you tell us about such innovativeness?
A. For me personally, innovative teaching is primarily related to the effectiveness of teaching methods – how well do the pupils assimilate those subjects that we’re trying to teach; how dynamic the environment is, and interactive the lessons are.
Prior to the introduction of novelties, it is important for the team of teachers to be prepared for changes. The next step is to introduce international or local best practices in the learning and teaching process; to recognise what is not working and replace those methods with more effective mechanisms.
The teaching process is innovative when pupils learn not in order simply to pass exams, but for life; when they transform their education into knowledge and develop important skills for the modern world. This goal can be achieved if the teaching process is fun and interesting for pupils.