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Resume: In 2012, funding for the Ministry of Education and Science was GEL 626,777,364 which constituted 8.59% of the total state budget assignments (GEL 7,294,781,563) for that year. In 2019, Georgia’s state budget is GEL 11,696,250,000 and funding allocated for the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport is GEL 1,469,600,000 from this amount which constitutes nearly 12.56% of the state budget. Therefore, funding for the Ministry has increased by 3.97 percentage points as compared to 2012. This relative figure shows the share in total expenses and this amount is one of the indicators of the program’s priority. This figure better indicates the real situation as compared to an analysis of nominal figures in time because the cost for purchasing goods and services in the country becomes expensive because of the inflation level.

In addition, one important issue has to be taken into account. In particular, in summer 2018, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, presented his small government concept based upon which the number of ministries was reduced from 14 to 11. As a result, the Ministry of Education and Science was merged with the Ministry of Culture and Sport and, therefore, the budgets of these two ministries were consolidated as well. In accordance with the 2018 budget, prior to the merger of the Ministry of Education and Science with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the budget of the Ministry of Education was GEL 1,199,799,687 which is 10.57% of the state budget and constitutes an only 1.98% growth as compared to the 2012 budget.

Analysis

On 8 March 2019, at a briefing held in the Administration of the Government of Georgia, the Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze, spoke about the high priority of the education sphere. Mr Bakhtadze made a promise that the education budget would be GEL 2 billion by 2020, GEL 2.5 billion by 2012 and GEL 3.4 billion by 2022. The Prime Minister also added that in accordance with the 2019 state budget, GEL 1.6 billion is allocated for the education sector whilst in 2012 they inherited the education sector with a budget of less than GEL 700 million.

FactCheck took interest in the accuracy of the statement.

In accordance with the State Treasury, funding for the Ministry of Education and Science was GEL 626,777,364 in 2012 which constituted 8.59% of the total state budget assignments[1] (GEL 7,294,781,563) and nearly 2.4% of the gross domestic product (GEL 26,167.3 billion). In 2019, the state budget is GEL 11,696,250,000 and funding allocated for the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport is GEL 1,469,600,000 from that amount which constitutes approximately 12.5% of the state budget. Therefore, the Ministry’s funding has increased by 3.97 percentage points as compared to 2012.

Of further note is one important issue. In summer 2018, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze, presented a small government concept based upon which the number of ministries was reduced from 14 to 11. As a result, the Ministry of Education and Science was merged with the Ministry of Culture and Sport and, therefore, the budgets of these three ministries were consolidated as well. In accordance with the 2018 budget, prior to the merger of the Ministry of Education and Science with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the budget of the Ministry of Education and Science was GEL 1,199,799,687 which was 10.57% of the state budget and constituted an only 1.98% growth as compared to the 2012 budget. If we add the budgets of the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Culture and Sport in 2012, the picture will be as follows: funding for the Ministry of Culture was GEL 100,057,169 and funding for the Ministry of Sport was GEL 72,426,535. In total, the funding for all three ministries was GEL 799,261,068 which constituted nearly 10.95% of the state budget.

In regard to the 2019 state budget in terms of functional allocations, funding for the education sphere is GEL 1,331,578,000 which is 11.29% of the budget (GEL 1,179,431,000) whilst funding for the education sphere in the 2012 budget was GEL 652,500,164 which was nearly 9% of the total budget (GEL 7,294,781,563).



[1] Total sum of budget expenses and growth of non-financial assets