Under the Soviet system, Georgia had a strong program of adult education and nonformal education, including evening classes and study through correspondence. These systems were very popular because of the small number of people who were allowed to enter formal institutions. In 1996 these programs encountered a reduction in enrollments, largely because adults enrolled instead in private institutions.
Special Education: In Georgia, government has a public policy of providing special education for persons with disabilities as well as appropriate general education and, when it is required, therapeutic training in schools that are established for this purpose. These schools have special syllabi, lesson plans, and teaching methods. Special vocational and technical courses are aimed at enabling students to develop a profession and to be eligible for employment. There is also an effort to help special education students improve their physical and social status.
In 1996, there were 18 special boarding schools in Tbilisi and two preschools for blind children and those with speech defects. There were about 2,000 pupils in those institutions. Duration of study in special schools is based on the ability of the students to learn the subjects offered by the school. Study in special education schools is free and has a high priority in Georgia based on resolutions passed by the Cabinet of Ministers in the mid-1990s. In most cases, there is one institution to correspond with each of the following disabilities: blindness, limited eyesight, limited hearing, cerebral palsy, curvature of the spine, asthma, problems in speech development, and gastric diseases. There are two schools for deaf children, and eight auxiliary schools for children who are mentally retarded. These figures compare similarly to special education institutions in the United States, if one compares Georgia to a state with three to five million people.
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