Sunday, March 1, 2020

Read the latest from Caucasian Journal: West European experts to share best reforms experience with Caucasian readership

Read the latest articles from our sister project Caucasian Journal:

Do you care about improving quality of life in South Caucasus? Are you concerned about quality of education, air pollution, or road safety? Then you might want to know how the same problems have been solved in other countries. For those people who want to learn about successful reforms, Caucasian Journal in 2020 started to interview the most competent high-level practitioners from Western Europe.

For its interviews under program called “Best Nordic and Baltic Practice”, the Tbilisi-based multilingual journal selects topics, which are most relevant to the countries of South Caucasian region.

The first interview published last week focuses on Estonian school reform, and how Georgians and Azerbaijani compare internationally with students of same age.

“Why did we invite an Estonian expert? Because the Estonian teenagers rank the highest in Europe”, - reads the article in Caucasian Journal. “Indeed, according to recent OECD PISA worldwide student assessment results, the Estonian 15-year olds have the Europe’s highest scores in all disciplines.”

While Estonia is on 1st place of all European countries, Azerbaijan is in 63rd place, and Georgia is in 69th place out of 77 countries, so both Caucasian countries (Armenia was not participating) are in the group of countries with lowest rating – lower than all other former Soviet republics, which participated.

“Looking at the scores of Azerbaijan and Georgia, it seems that there are many students who barely manage to solve the easiest tasks”, - commented Gunda Tire, the Estonia’s national project manager. In her interview to Tbilisi-based journal, Gunda Tire answered questions about the reasons of success of Estonia’s education reform. “Teachers’ salaries have been a high priority over the recent years. They are higher than the average salary of Estonia”, - she explained, - “All children get free hot lunch and free textbooks. School transport is free. There are also many after school activities that are free”.

The upcoming interviews under “Best Nordic and Baltic Practice” program will focus on city management, traffic safety, and environment protection. They are scheduled with top European practitioners, including the Mayor of Oslo – the capital city of Norway, which was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2019. All these subjects are more than important for Tbilisi and other big cities of South Caucasian region.

Caucasian Journal welcomes new readers, and encourages comments and discussions. “By publishing expert’s opinions and opening professional discussions, we want to contribute to successful reforms in our region”, - said editor-in-chief of Tbilisi-based journal. - “We will first publish the interviews in original language (English), and then we plan to translate them to Georgian and other Caucasian languages, to maximize the reach to readerships in our region.”

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