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
Abashidze-Karasin dialogue suspended, trade relations continue - Tamar Beruchashvili
Georgia’s Foreign Minister has issued an explanation for her interview published by Radio Liberty. According to her, the journalists have misinterpreted her words.
Levan Varshalomidze appointed as Poroshenko’s advisor
Former head of the Adjarian government Levan Varshalomidze has been appointed as an advisor to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
"Implementation of NATO- Georgia package is going well" - Alexander Vershbow
“NATO very strongly supports Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Georgia is a great partner to NATO and a great contributor to our operations, which makes Georgia an exporter of security.
“Georgia Needs a Terror List Mechanism!” - An Exclusive Interview with Israeli Ambassador Yuval Fuchs
Israeli Ambassador Yuval Fuchs is among the diplomats, who have always been vocal about the necessity for Georgia to have adequate counter-terrorism policy.
Mayor of Tbilisi welcomes a newborn daughter into the family
Family of Davit Narmania, Mayor of Tbilisi, has a new member - on January 28th, he became a father to a daughter named Elene. She was born at Davit Gagua Clinic, weighing 3.8kg and being 52 cm tall.
Restoration of justice will start in February - Bidzina Ivanishvili
According to former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, 1 billion GEL is needed to compensate the citizens who suffered at the hands of the previous government.
"Goodbye dinner" - James Appathurai takes time for a photo with Georgian diplomats
James Appathurai, NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, has posted a photo with former ambassador to NATO
Location for NATO-Georgia training center already selected
As Head of the Parliamentary Security Committee Irakli Sesiashvili told InterPressNews, the process of constructing a NATO-Georgia training center is not public information.
Meet Vakhtang Gomelauri, Georgia's new Minister of Internal Affairs
Vakhtang Gomelauri has officially been appointed Georgia’s Interior Minister. Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili presented him during a press-conference at the governmental administration.
Interior Minister of Georgia resigns
Minister of Internal Affairs Alexandre Chikaidze has submitted a letter of resignation to the Prime Minister.
We support the Prime Minister’s call for a prompt and thorough investigation of Iuri Vazagashvili’s case - U.S. Embassy
Ambassador Norland and the staff of the American Embassy were shocked to learn of the death of Iuri Vazagashvili, claimed the U.S. Embassy in response to a question
NGO-born Public Defender Nanuashvili's statements are inadequate - Levan Vasadze
Georgia does not have any development ideology, - said businessman Levan Vasadze in his interview with the “Kviris Palitra” paper.
Armenia applies UNESCO to recognize 450 churches in Georgia as Armenian
As Interfax reports, Armenia has applied UNESCO to recognize 450 churches located in Georgia as Armenian.
Removal of Free Democrats from high posts will not harm us - Irakli Alasania
Removal of members of Free Democrats from parliament’s high posts will be an interesting and important process, said Free Democrats' leader Irakli Alasania.
We have no reason to drop sanctions against Russia - Johannes Hann
“Some sanctions expire in March and others in June. So we will have to discuss the issue of extending them. If we do not discuss this issue, they will automatically be lifted.
EU-Georgia Association Agreement: Working today for a European tomorrow
Newly-appointed European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, will visit Georgia on the 15-17th of January. Georgian Journal offers
2020: A Prosperity Odyssey
The Social-economic Development Strategy of Georgia is a fantastic initiative with good intentions, high hopes and a comprehensive vision describing where the Georgian
Gia Getsadze to head Council of Reforms in Ukraine
Former Georgian government Representative, Gia Getsadze will head the Ukrainian Council of Reforms.
Time to hold our leaders accountable for each step they take
Millions took to the streets in France on Sunday to march in solidarity in response to the terror attacks that left 17 people dead in Paris.
“I am sure that the terror attacks will continue” (Exclusive)
“The current situation turns the entire French society into a bunch of losers.”
I never imagined myself becoming Prime Minister - Irakli Gharibashvili
“I’ve always been interested in politics and I always wanted to serve my country. I never imagined I could become Prime Minister,
 "I Will Be Back" – Exclusive interview with Mikheil Saakashvili
"The very moment Bidzina Ivanishvili loses power, and he is basically controlling everything through his proxies right now, there will be no way to prevent my return to Georgia"
Angel Beselia - Photoshopped pics of Georgian MP Eka Beselia explode the net
Parliamentary Majority member Eka Beselia appeared in a rather unusual outfit at Alilo Christmas march in Tbilisi.
Kakha Kaladze - Georgia’s first lumbersexsual politician
Kakha Kaladze, the Vice-Prime Minister and the Minister of Energy of Georgia stands out from other politicians with his unique style.
Other Stories
On the 27th of January, Tbilisi’s Mayor Davit Narmania was observing the process of cleaning an underground walkway near Tbilisi Concert Hall.
"We want to transform Georgia into real European state"
Irakli Gharibashvili, the Prime Minister of Georgia along with Eka Siradze-Delone, the ambassador of Georgia to France, were met by Francois Hollande at Elise’s palace,
Aside from the regular parish, the Christmas liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral was attended by politicians as well. The attending group of officials included representatives
The United States Embassy in Georgia has released a video that depicts its employees wishing Merry Christmas to the Georgian population and taking turns reciting
President Giorgi Margvelashvili recently helped a small girl who got lost find her mother. During a Christmas celebration at the President’s Avlabari residence, the girl got lost
The Georgian Dream Coalition and several cabinet members met with Ex Prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili in the well known restaurant “Bagrationi”.
“Putin is the leader of a country with whom we need to renegotiate and reestablish relations” – such was the reply given by President Margvelashvili to a question
Politicians came to blows in the Georgian parliament on Boxing day over how they should decide the make-up of Georgian delegations
The speech delivered by parliamentary minority member Akaki Bobokhidze ended in a scuffle, provoked by his use of explicit language.
GEL Exchange
EUR
1
EUR
2.3342
UZS
1000
UZS
0.8438
GBP
1
GBP
3.1008
SEK
10
SEK
2.4875