Competition procedure for public school principals in Adjara violated the law
On 6 February 2014, the Minister of Education and Science issued an order where names of individuals who had successfully passed the competition for principals of public schools in Georgia, including public schools of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, were listed. Transparency International (TI) Georgia believes that the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia has grossly violated the rules for competitions for school principals in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the respective legal acts should be revoked.
According to the Law on General Education, Article 26, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph “ო” , the Ministry of Science and Education conducts competitions to select principals of public schools in Georgia. However, the law makes an exception in the case of Adjara, where competition for principals of public schools must be conducted by the Ministry of Education of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara (Article 29, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph “კ”).
The type and scope of competition for public school principals is established by the Order #25/6 of the Minister of Education and Science on Approving the Terms of Conducting a Competition for Selecting Principals of Public Schools, issued on 24 February 2011. According to Article 1 of this Order, the competition for selecting principals of public schools consists of two stages: certification and introduction of candidates to the board of schools. According to the Order, the certification stage itself consists of two parts: tests and interviews. If passed both stages, a candidate is granted a certificate, followed by another stage: interview with a commission appointed by the Minister of Education of Georgia, as a result of which candidates are selected to be introduced to the boards of public schools.
In August and November 2013, the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia conducted the testing and interview stages of the competition throughout the country, including for schools of Adjara where the Ministry of Education of Adjara was not involved in conducting interviews or making any final decisions.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia didn’t have the territorial jurisdiction to conduct a competition for public school principals in the Autonomous Republic of Adjara. Therefore, the legal acts issued by the Ministry of Education of Georgia announcing the competition of principals for public schools in Adjara as well as its results should be abrogated. TI Georgia has filed a lawsuit in Tbilisi City Court with that exact request.