This paper reflects on education policy responses in Georgia to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. These include initiatives launched by the government, as well as civil society, development partners and donor agencies. During the first wave of the pandemic, lack of access to infrastructure, and inadequate digital competencies of teachers were observed as primary constraints on continuity of teaching and learning. As the pandemic progressed, new challenges emerged – such as demotivation of students, teachers’ increased workload and stress, problems with re-organization of teaching and learning, redesign of assessment methods, and developing online pedagogies. Yet government narratives and wider educational discussions remained focused on primary access constraints: either on the inability to solve first-order problems or the lack of critical discussion around the role of technology in education with a focus on the quality of provision. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fragility of the Georgian education system with its deeply entrenched inequalities reflecting socio-economic realities; in the long run, weak policy management and absence of post-pandemic recovery strategies may contribute to the already declining image of public education.
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