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Saakashvili: 'Every Schoolchild should Learn English'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 16 Aug.'10 / 01:53

Every schoolchild in Georgia should become "an English speaker" in next four years, as part of "educational revolution," President Saakashvili said on August 15.

Meeting with a group of native English speakers, who volunteered to teach English in the Georgian schools as part of the Education Ministry's program Teach and Learn with Georgia, Saakashvili compared this program with the decision of Georgia's most revered King, David the Builder, to resettle thousands of families of Kipchak tribe from the North Caucasus. The resettlement helped the King to fill his army to unite Georgia nearly 900 years ago.

"Arrival of 10,000 English language teachers in Georgia in next three years is the event of exactly the same scale like the one, when David the Builder resettled 50,000 Kipchaks  [after which] the Georgian state's modernization gained irreversible nature," Saakashvili said.

"If during the times of David the Builder the competitiveness was measured by a military criterion, today military criterion is one among others, but the key is education."

"What we will do within next years in Georgia is a real educational revolution and nothing of this kind has been done in any of the post-Soviet states," he said.

"In next 4 years we will achieve a situation, wherein every school-age child, starting from the age of five, will become English speaker. It means that the English will be thier second language after the Georgian. On the next stage it will be followed [with learning] of Chinese and from the regional point of view - Arabic and Turkish languages, Russian; but the main, minimal requirement is that each child in Georgia from age of five to the age of 16 should be an English speaker with computer skills."

"It will give us an opportunity to make a major progress and to make the largest breakthrough in next decades in the entire post-Soviet space and that's the greatest contribution we will make to the future development of our country."

"I believe, that if we make it in a right way, it will be the greatest breakthrough for Georgia after the Kipchak [resettlement]," Saakashvili said.

President Saakashvili first announced about, what he called “linguistic and computer revolution” plan in April, 2010, when he said that English language classes would become compulsory from the first grade in schools and every first-grade schoolchild would be given XO mini-laptop.

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