marketization of education in georgia: equitable access to quality education
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Dr. Maia Chankseliani
Department of Education, University of Oxford
Chankseliani, M. (2013) ‘Financial burden of university attendance in Georgia: Implications for rural students’,
Chankseliani, M. (2012a). Mixed-methods study of higher education access in Georgia: Does location
matter? (Doctoral thesis). Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. Chankseliani, M. (2012b) ‘Spatial Inequities in Higher Education Admissions in Georgia: Likelihood of
Choosing and Gaining Access to Prestigious Higher Education Institutions’, Working Paper, Center for Social
Darakhvelidze, K. (2008). The university entrance examinations: the effect of admissions test preparation on
private tutoring in Georgia (master’s thesis). Columbia University, New York.
GeoStat. (2010). National Statistics Office of Georgia data. Tbilisi, Georgia: National Statistics Office of
Gorgodze, S. (2006). What hampers the equalizing force of corruption-free university examinations?
IMF. (2003). Georgia: Poverty reduction strategy paper (Country Report No. 03/265). Washington DC:
International Monetary Fund.
MES. (2009). EMIS data on secondary schools and school graduates. Ministry of Education and Science of
MES. (2012a). Ministry of Education data on HEIs. Retrieved from
MES. (2012b). EMIS data on schools in Georgia. Retrieved from
NAEC. (2009). The Unified National Examinations database.
OSI. (2006). Education in a hidden marketplace: Monitoring of private tutoring. Overview and country reports.
New York: Education Support Program of the Open Society Institute Network of Education Policy Centers.
Shapiro, M., Nakata, S., Chakhaia, L., & Zhvania, E. (2007). Evaluation of the Ilia Chavchavadze program in
reforming and strengthening Georgia’s schools. Japan: Padeco.
World Bank. (2008). Georgia poverty assessment ( No. 4440-GE). Human Development Sector Unit South
Caucasus Country Unit Europe and Central Asia Region.
For further information Please contact [email protected]
Marketization of education in Georgia: equitable access to
Main trends since 1990s
Emergence of private providers at all levels of education;
Wider possibilities of school choice;
Introduction of across-the-board per student voucher financing of general and higher education;
Education recipients allowed to pay the cost of private general and higher education with public
Government consolidating the existing public education provider network.
11% of schools are private (MES, 2012b)
57% of HEIs are private (MES, 2012a)
80% of the sample from Georgia used private
tutoring as a supplement to formal schooling
Two arguments against the
increase of market role in
Does not promote societal good
Quality: private schooling & tutoring
Private school graduates score, on average, significantly higher on
university selection exams when compared to public secondary school
graduates. The mean score on a foreign language test for private school
graduates is 60.9, whereas the average score for public school graduates
is 51.7 (Chankseliani, 2012a).
FIGURE 1. FOREIGN LANGUAGE SCORE DISTRIBUTION BY SCHOOL
Another study has shown that private tutoring investment explains
significant variation in student performance on higher education
entrance exams (Darakhvelidze, 2008).
Private school graduates are significantly more likely to gain access to
the most prestigious HEIs than public school graduates, and five out of
the six most prestigious HEIs are private (Chankseliani, 2012b).
Availability: private schooling
75% 80% 85% 90% 95% 100%
public school private school
FIGURE 2. PRIVATE SCHOOL ATTENDANCE BY GEOGRAPHIC AREA
Districts with higher proportions of urban residents house higher
proportion of private schools (r=.80**).
Districts with higher proportions of residents with HE, house higher
proportion of private schools (r=.84**).
Almost one-third of municipalities, all of them largely rural, do not
have a single private school (MES, 2012b).
72% of the pupils enrolled in private schools come from the capital
and five biggest cities (MES, 2009), whereas only 42% of the country
population resides there (GeoStat, 2010).
Interviews with rural disadvantaged families show that they face
two main impediments in the process of deciding on private
tutoring: affordability and accessibility (Chankseliani, 2012b).
The incidence of private tutoring is higher in urban (39%) than in
rural (17%) areas (World Bank, 2008).
The incidence of private tutoring is higher among children from
higher SES quintiles - 50% from the richest quintile and only 17%
from the poorest quintile go to private tutors (World Bank, 2008).
Overall, those who come from urban areas and higher SES
quintiles have a 4 – 25% higher probability of using private
tutoring services than those who belong to poorer families and
reside in rural areas (World Bank, 2008).
Availability: private tutoring
Private investment in education
Richer families in Georgia spend significantly more on education
than poorer families: 43% of total private expenditure on education
comes from the top 10% of the richest families, compared with the
0.2% share coming from the bottom 10% (Shapiro et al., 2007).
Urban households invested, on average, three times more in
education when compared to the spending of rural households (IMF,
Underfunding from public sources has been reflected in an increase
in private expenditure on education to the detriment of equity
(Shapiro et al., 2007).
50% of sample from Georgia maintained that private tutoring is
the only way of acquiring high quality education (OSI, 2006).
Gorgodze (2006) found that the following are the main reasons for
applicants to decide on hiring a private tutor:
tutoring classes help students organise their thoughts better
there is a wide-spread belief that one cannot pass university
entrance tests without private tutoring
students feel more at ease to ask questions to a private tutor
rather than a school teacher
students feel they have more time for discussions at private
Affordability of private education
When compared to average monthly income, mean rates of HE
tuition in Georgia are high. The mean tuition in 2006-2009 was
$1187 with the highest rate of $10120. An average Georgian adult
would need to work for twenty months to cover average tuition
cost for HE in 2006-2009 (Chankseliani, 2013).
Publicly-provided vouchers do not cover the full price of
privately-provided general or higher education; neither can they
be spent on private tutoring.
One of the interviewees who happened to be a teacher at a local
school shared her thoughts: “villagers here […] cannot afford
private tutoring. This is a problem in villages not in urban centres.
Villagers are very poor. People hardly make ends meet” (Oni 4,
2010, cited in Chankseliani, 2012a).
Demand for private tutoring