Children without preschool education
Information Center of Kakheti
In Kakheti region, there are still villages, where kids cannot get pre-school education and the municipalities do not pay appropriate attention to the solution of this problem. Over 30 kids in Chantliskure village, Kvareli municipality are left without preschool education; mostly ethnic Avars live in the village. Neither the children living in the Tchoeti village, Dedoplistskaro municipality get preschool education. However, in both villages, it is essential to ensure access of the kids to the pre-school education because they cannot speak the Georgian language.
“Before 1990s, there was a kindergarten in the village. There were two groups. Our village is the only one, where there is no kindergarten in the entire municipality. All other villages have kindergartens,” Gaji Musaev, resident of Chantliskure village, said.
“All parents work. They take their kids to the working places bounded on their backs. If there was a kindergarten, they could work more and have achieved more,” Tamar Mikelashvili, resident of Chantliskure village, said.
The villagers have been requesting the kindergarten in the village for more than 10 years. The locals have several times petitioned to the Kvareli municipal administration.
“We petitioned to the municipal administration. The parents had applied to them; the local authority is informed about our problem. Before the elections, they promised to open the kindergarten but did not keep promise; now they say there are not enough funds in the budget. Children do not go to kindergartens, they do not speak Georgian and then they have problems of learning and communication in public schools,” Gaji Musaev said.
Unlike Chantliskure village, so-called alternative kindergartens are functioning in the villages Saruso and Tivi in Kvareli municipality, where ethnic Avars live. There, kids learn Georgian language from 9 am to 14:00 pm. So called alternative kindergartens function in the buildings of kindergartens. Unlike other kindergartens, children do not have meals, do not play games and sleep.
“Their main purpose is to teach the Georgian language to the kids. That kindergarten has been functioning in Tivi village for 2 years already; it was open in Saruso village a year ago,” Maya Samitashvili, director of the union of the Kvareli municipality kindergartens, told the ICK.
She said the alternative kindergarten will be soon opened in Chantliskure village too.
A petition is prepared with the support of the NGO Civil Activities Center to request opening of the kindergarten in Chantliskure village; the petition will be soon sent to the Kvareli municipal council in near future.
Up to 15 kids are left without pre-school education in the Tchoeti village, Dedoplistskaro municipality. Different ethnic groups live in the village; mostly they are Roma and Russians.
Several parents from Tchoeti village took their kids to the kindergarten in the Khornabuji village, the neighboring village. But due to financial problems they cannot take kids there for more than half year. Tchoeti, formerly Leninovka village, is about 3 kilometers away from Khornabuji. The road goes through uninhabited place and people are afraid of wild animals to walk there in the dark.
“It is difficult to take children to the kindergarten every day. If the kindergarten is closer, everybody will take children there. We cannot afford to take children to the municipal center,” Olga Nikolaenko, resident of Tchoeti village, said.
The parents are aware that their children have problem of the state language knowledge in the village and know that primary education is essential for them.
“They are kids and should go to the kindergartens, then to school. I have four grandkids and they need some preparatory phase before going to school. I need it for them to know the Georgian language well; they should not have difficulty to communicate with people,” Galina Yonenko said.
Representatives of Dedoplistskaro municipal administration know that children in Tchoeti village do not have access to pre-school education but the deputy governor Solomon Ghorashvili said a kindergarten cannot be open in the village for 15 or 20 kids.
“The residents of Leninovka village offered us to open a kindergarten in the one room of the local library. Based on new recommendations, we will not get permission to satisfy their request and there are not adequate conditions to arrange a kindergarten there,” the deputy municipal governor said.
In accordance to the Law of Georgia on Early and Preschool Education, the children of Georgia at the public preschool education institutions of Georgia are ensured free education and catering services as provided for by the legislation of Georgia.
Also, preschool education, including the school readiness programme, is voluntary, universal and available for every child of relevant age.
A municipality shall implement and ensure the provision of preschool education, including the school readiness programme, to children.
Preschool education specialist Ana Janelidze at the UN Children’s Fund said even one child is enough to ensure his/her access to preschool education.
“In accordance to the law, even one child is enough for kindergarten. However, it does not mean that in every village, where one or two kids live, a traditional 9-hour kindergarten shall be opened. It cannot fully implement its function. If a child does not have opportunity to communicate his/her peers, it will hinder his/her full development. So, it is important that diverse services were available for children. So, only 9-hour, traditional, well-infrastructured preschool educational institution shall not be allowed by the law, but we should have possibility to offer different types of services that are available in other countries too; for example 4-hour daily, or even smaller programmes, which can also ensure achievement of the same results that is necessary for the comprehensive development of the children,” Ana Janelidze said.
“Early age, first 6 years, is very important period for the comprehensive development of the child and for the formation his/her brain. The studies show that unless we take advantage of this period and promote the comprehensive development of the child, it is missed opportunity. High quality preschool education means that a child is growing up in adequate environment both in the family, and in kindergarten; as a result he/she is more successful in school, in society, has more developed emotional skills than his/her peers who did not go to kindergarten. There is less chance that whey they grow up, they will stay unemployed and depend on social benefits, get involved in criminal activities, etc,” Ana Janelidze said.
According to the UN Children’s Fund 2015 Study, 38% of the children aged from 3 to 6 do not have access to the preschool education in Georgia.