Democracy with Soviet Signature
18 November, 2010
Democracy with Soviet Signature

At the end of this week pupils of our Capital’s schools will stage another protest rally. They demand from the Authorities to remove those subjects from the examination list, which the Georgian Ministry of Education introduced recently.

The reason is that the pupils were not studying these subjects before. According to them, they and their parents are being threatened and blackmailed in parallel with the protests.
In the Soviet period at the end of 1980s, when I was in my 12th school year, my parents were frequently summoned by the school administration. My mom knew very well the office of the director there. Often they threatened to expel me from the school for the sole reason of my support for national movement and protest rallies raging at the time. By the order of the education the Authorities and the school administration stood on guard along the entire road from our homes to the school. There were threats and harassments, blackmailing of our parents and intimidation to fire them from their jobs. After all, we somehow got over with it and seemingly stepped into the new statehood.
Today, in the period of “democratic lighthouse”, pupils of several 12th grade public schools of Georgian capital are accusing the Authorities of attempting to oppress them as the police summons them to their headquarters and threatens with expulsions. Directors of eight schools signed letters of resignation and left their offices. Apparently they did not act out of their own will. They acknowledge informally that they were forced to sign the letters under the pressure of today’s “democratic education regime”, even if the Ministry of Education has no legal right to fire a school director.
The reason of all these events is very simple: pupils of the last year started to stage rallies against the Authorities demanding deletion of certain subjects from the list of school graduation exams. The pupils state that the subjects which the Ministry of Education has lately introduced, is not being taught in schools. Some of the rally participants who chose to remain unidentified told us that in the police they were threatened with expulsion from schools and even transferring to the so called “school-internats” for poorly performing pupils, unless they stop their protests.
It is noteworthy that this sort of statement comes not just from one or two pupils. Many more say that their parents too are subjected to the threats of dismissals from their

jobs. Frightened pupils put on masks before joining the rallies, so that no one from the harassers can identify and harass them and their parents later on.
On top of it, political forces are now engaging themselves in the case. Leaders of Labor Party sent a letter to international children rights organizations asking to pay attention to the violation of children rights in Georgia and exert diplomatic pressure on Georgian Authorities in order to stop continuous harassment and blackmailing of pupils in Tbilisi as soon as possible.
However, Georgian Ministry of Science and Education is not going to cancel the exams in contentious subjects. Instead, they call the ‘twelvers’ to stop going to private teachers to study only four exam subjects and allocate time equally to all exam subjects.
“We will fight against oppression and harassment of schoolchildren. We demand abolition of exams for the last year pupils in 8 subjects. The Government must do it without fail. There are subjects on the list of exams which we have not been taught for several years by now. In other words, these subjects were not present in the program before. There is no enough time left to prepare for exams in these subjects. The problem is not only with the time deficit but also with financial predicaments. Nearly all the pupils face it. That is why we demand annulment of these newly introduced exams,” say the action participants. They are not going to give in and they are ready to stage further protest actions.
It must be noted that the protests reverberated across other schools of the Capital, expanding the geography of the youth unrest. According to the information obtained by the Georgian Journal, public order guards – the MIA academy trained uniformed civil officers introduced by the Education Ministry in the schools – enhanced their vigilance over pupils to prevent anyone of them from joining the protest rallies and transform the process into a massive show of youth power. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education requested all directors of schools to be extremely attentive to their respective pupils.
According to Dimitri Shashkin, Georgian Minister of Education and Science, the Minister has the right to have detailed and precise information about the situation in any public school: “It is a duty of the Education Ministry to react to the breach of rules. If there is any breach of order, the general inspection would undertake corresponding measures in the school concerned.”
Certainly, both Ministry of Education and Science and police dismiss any allegation of mistreating and threatening pupils and their parents. They simply call them all nonsense.
Despite this position of the official governmental structure, the fact holds that directors of several schools resigned. In addition, pupils and parents assert that cases of harassment did take place.
Besides, the information agency InterPressNews spread the information a few days ago that Maia Giorgadze, Director of Public School No. 149 was taken by emergency team to the hospital. As the agency reports, the source of the information is Khatuna Elashvili, Head of Study Department of the same school.
Moreover – recently Patriarch of all Georgia Ilia II asked Education Minister Shashkin to show kindheartedness and allow the resigned directors of protest-ridden schools to return to their positions.


 

Other Stories
Alleged recording of conversation between Saakashvili and National Movement members released
Recording of a conversation that allegedly took place between Mikheil Saakashvili and members of the United National Movement
Georgia’s Kvirikashvili Holds High Level Meetings at UN
NEW YORK - Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has held several bilateral meetings
“I would wish similar election campaign in the US” - US Ambassador
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly said that election campaign in Georgia is exemplary.
Alleged phone conversation between Rustavi 2 Director and Paata Burchuladze released
As reported a recording of a phone conversation allegedly between Rustavi 2 Director General Nika Gvaramia
Jens Stoltenberg: “Georgia has all instruments to prepare for NATO membership”
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at the NATO-Georgia Commission in Tbilisi that Georgia
“I consider Margvelashvili as the biggest mistake” – Former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili
“I think Margvelashvili is my biggest mistake and I have even apologized to the society because of that,”
Georgia’s Energy and Agriculture Ministers resign
Georgian Vice PM, Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze has to leave office as he takes part in the upcoming elections.
MEPs back visa-free travel for Georgians
Members of the European Parliament's civil liberties committee (Libe) have broadly backed the idea to lift visas for Georgian citizens
Georgia's EU visa waiver should not be politicized - EUobserver
The EUobserver published the opinion about why Georgia should be granted visa liberalisation.
“We are interested in deepening relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan” – Georgian Foreign Minister
Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze said at a joint briefing with his Azerbaijani counterpart
A Brighter Future for Gldani, Prison and All, From Potential MP
Four Years ago (though for most of the Georgian population it still seems like yesterday) the word Gldani was on everyone’s lips,
Georgian President, First Lady attend reception in Rio de Janeiro
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and First Lady Maka Chichua attended a reception held on behalf of acting Brazilian president Michel Temer in Rio de Janeiro.
The Washington Post: Can an opera singer become prime minister of Georgia?
"One month before the United States vote in its own presidential election, Georgia (the country, not the state) will have its own parliamentary election,
Georgia’s two Republican ministers leave their posts
Two Republican ministers have left office. As reported at a press-conference held by Republican Party Defense Minister Tina Khidasheli
NATO: Don’t abandon Georgia
Tbilisi needs assurances that Brexit-related instability at Europe’s core won’t lead to instability on its periphery
Georgia’s Ambassador to the US summoned to Tbilisi for explanations on his statement
Georgia’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Ambassador of Georgia to the US Archil Gegeshidze to Tbilisi because of his recent statements.
US Secretary of State met young Georgian entrepreneurs and walked through Old Tbilisi
The US Secretary of State, John Jerry paid an official visit to Georgia and met the country's President, Prime Minister
"Since I tasted Khachapuri and brilliant wine here I am surprised why I have not visited Georgia so far" - Jon Kerry
"President Barack Obama’s message is that he supports Georgia’s independence, sovereignty and Euro-Atlantic aspirations,"
Berlin’s Top Diplomat Visits Georgia to Discuss OSCE Mission, EU Policy
TBILISI – German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in his opening remarks at the start of the 25th annual session
Several diplomatic vehicles, including Georgian Embassy car, burnt in Berlin
Several diplomatic vehicles, including a Georgian Embassy car, were burnt in Berlin.
Obligatory military service abolished in Georgia
Starting from today, the obligatory military service is abolished in Georgia.
Abkhaz Court Orders Border Guard Placed Under House Arrest
SUKHUMI, Abkhazia – A military court in Georgia’s breakaway region Abkhazia has ordered Rashid Kanjiogli to be placed under house arrest for a border incident in May that saw the accused shoot and kill a Georgian citizen.
EU foreign ministers unanimously back Georgia’s visa liberalization
The EU foreign ministers have unanimously backed Georgia’s visa liberalizaion at the session held in Luxembourg today,
Georgian PM invites German Chancellor to Georgia
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili met the Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in the frames of his official visit to Germany.
EU Officials Say Georgia Deserves Visa-Free Regime
BRUSSELS- European Union officials on Tuesday reiterated their support for Georgia’s visa-free regime only days after the bloc announced
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
The Georgian President and his wife are on a state visit to Israel. Giorgi Magvelashvili and the First Lady, together
Koba Subeliani, a member of the National Movement party and the parliamentary minority
According to Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili, the Georgian side will take part in the UN peacekeeping mission.
Asked about whether Georgia and Russia are moving towards a repeat of the war in 2008
The U.S. Department of State has released a video in which the new U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly addresses Georgians
Governor of Odessa district Mikheil Saakashvili was seen sitting in a police car’s trunk.
Youtube Channel NATO has published a video about the situation in South Ossetia.
Nato has often seemed to lack purpose, but Kosovo and Afghanistan gave the alliance a second wind at the end of the 20th
Sandra Roelofs, the former First Lady of Georgia, has visited Mikheil Saaksahvili, the ex-president of Georgia and Odessa’s new governor
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.3297
EUR
1
EUR
2.6037
GBP
1
GBP
3.0226
RUB
100
RUB
3.6790
October 2016
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31