On January 27, ISET students delivered yet another policy seminar. A presentation entitled “The Quality of Secondary Education” was delivered by Mariam Chachkhiani, Lika Goderdzishvili, Dika Khidesheli, and Tevos Matevosyan under the supervision of a senior research fellow in the Education and Social Policy Center at ISET-PI, Zurab Abramishvili. During the presentation, the students overviewed the current situation and indicators of the quality of secondary education in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, with further emphasis made on problems facing Georgia.

At the beginning of the presentation, the students showed a short video on the Finnish education system, “where learning is meant to be fun”. Students have no homework, with both short school days and semesters. The Finnish system perceives standardized test-based system (like in US) to be studying for test; it does not encourage students to learn. Another important point is that private schools do not exist in Finland, and Finnish people think that neighborhood schools are the best.

On January 26, ISET hosted an Asian Development Bank (ADB) group with keynote speaker David Margonsztern, the Senior Urban Development Specialist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He gave a presentation entitled “The ADB’s Sustainable Transport Initiative (STI): Turning Strategies into realities”. The ADB started this project in 2010 with the priority of developing transport systems that are accessible, safe, environmentally-friendly and affordable in Asia. Mr. Margonsztern emphasized that the project is targeted to increase the share of urban transport among other means of transportation. Compared to the situation in 1970-2009, when the share of urban transport was only 2%, but after implementing the STI project, the share of urban transport increased to 18%. By 2020, the project aims to reach a 30% share for urban transport.

On January 26, 2017, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) conducted its 13th Consultative Board Meeting, attended by the board members, Commission Chairs, ambassadors, bankers and senior representatives of Georgian businesses. The Georgian government was represented by Mr. Giorgi Gakharia, the Minister of the Economy and Sustainable Development, and his deputy, Ms. Keti Bochorishvili.

Acting in his capacity as Chair of ICC’s Economic Commission, Mr. Eric Livny analyzed the 4-point plan of reforms, introduced by the Government of Georgia at the end of last year, and raised the business community’s concerns about some of the new measures, including changes in the corporate, VAT and excise taxes, as well as the recently announced ‘larizarion’ and pension reform initiatives.

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