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25.05.12 - 31.05.12

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The lost “meritocracy”

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Author:  By Archil Sikharulidze

In an article entitled “Georgia, A democracy Under Construction” published October 31, 2011, author Sйbastien Maillard wrote: “In order to create a new enlightened class of citizens open to the West out of nothing, the Saakashvili government began by generalizing the teaching of English in schools. For his part, Giga Bokeria, a close aide to the president, who dreams of a “meritocracy” (providing everyone with the same chances throughout the country), said: “We reformed examinations in order to put an end to corruption, and we now want to provide laptop computers to every student.”

Meritocracy, in the first and most administrative sense, is a system of government wherein appointments and responsibilities are objectively assigned to individuals based upon their merits- namely intelligence, credentials, and education, and are determined through evaluations or examinations.

According to scholarly consensus, the earliest example of an administrative meritocracy based on civil service examinations, dates back to Ancient China. The concept originated in the 6th century BC, when it was advocated by the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who invented the notion that “those who govern should do so because of merit, not of inherited status.” This sets in motion the creation of the imperial examinations and bureaucracies open only to those who passed tests.

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