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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Apr
11

The Samtredia Redemption

Nino Kakulia was born in Samtredia on 15 October 1991, in the last days of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. By the time Nino and independent Georgia were celebrating their 13th birthdays, the Georgian government embarked on a series of long overdue reforms, one of which was about cleansing the country’s higher education system from corruption.  This was undoubtedly an excellent and timely reform for Nino, an ambitious student in Samtredia’s school. Until then, to get admitted into a public university, Nino or, rather, her family, would have h...
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Apr
01

President Margvelashvili and Cartu Foundation Unveil Plans to Usher a New Era in Georgia’s Public Schooling

April 1, 2015 A little-known experiment launched in 2009 is about to revolutionize Georgia’s countryside. “Teach for Georgia (TG)” [1] is a small program administered by the National Center for Teachers’ Professional Development, seeking to stream new blood into the public education system. With a tiny annual budget of 212,000 GEL, TG was initially conceived as a publically funded “startup”, an attempt to think and act out-of-the box. Though starting small and mainly focusing on schools in remote mountain communities, TG has always been seen as potential...
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Nov
11

Armenia Generates Windfall Profits for Georgia

When Armenia entered the Russia-dominated customs union in 2013, fear spread among the Georgian public and policy makers. It looked as if Georgia would be economically squeezed in between Russia and Armenia, the latter being one of Russia’s staunchest allies in the region and, given its geopolitical dependency on Russia, sometimes seen as a little more than a Russian agent. Being wary about Russia’s economic influence in the region, it was straightforward for Georgia to respond to this development by upgrading economic ties with our Western allies. There...
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