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.


 

Print
Other Stories
Has Georgia Become an... "Elsewhere"? - Edward Lucas's Hard Truth on Georgia
It finally happened this month: the presidents of the United States and Russian Federation meet face to face for the first time.
Tbilisi mayor candidate Aleko Elisashvili to fix parking issues and revitalize the city in case of victory

Tbilisi Mayor and Local Self-Government Elections are approaching, so candidates are actively engaged in election campaign.
Russia's illegal borderization on Georgian territory continues! - What EUMM says
A border sign across the occupation line in the Tskhinvali region of Georgia has been installed recently,
BSEC Summit – B Is for Blame Games
Now, first things first: Despite the headlines that some of the Georgian media gleefully rolled forth last week, it wasn’t Vice PM Kumsishvili’s idea to get up and stand beside the Russian PM
Swiss Lessons for Georgia – Neutrality, Diversity and Resource Management
Today, Switzerland is considered and perceived as a very successful country politically, economically, and socially.
Putin Appoints new ‘Ambassador’ to Occupied Tskhinvali
On May 23 Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree about appointment Marat Kulakhmetov as the new “Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Ossetia.”
Trump’s letter to Margvelashvili: “Georgian independence and democracy remain an aspiration to the world”
US President Donald Trump congratulates Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili on the 25th anniversary of the Georgia-US diplomatic relations.
Nauru loses US financial support for recognizing Georgia’s breakaway regions’ independence
Nauru is no longer eligible for any US government financial support because it recognises two Georgian break-away regions as independent countries,
 Moscow Ex-Mayor’s Visit to Georgia Causes Controversy
Moscow’s former mayor Yuri Luzhkov’s visit in Georgia has caused an outcry among the Georgian population and politicians.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili meets Donald Trump at the White House
Yesterday, on May 8th, Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Kvirikashvili met with US President Donald Trump.
Donald Trump signs legislative act recognizing Abkhazia and Tskhinvali as Georgia’s regions occupied by Russia
US President Donald Trump has signed a legislative act, which recognizes Georgia’s breakaway territories - Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region - as regions occupied by Russia;
Sannikov on Belarus, Russia and Georgia
On March 25, there were many angry faces in Minsk. Why? Because a certain “last dictator of Europe,”
O’Hanlon Dishes out Bitter Pills for Georgia: The US Cannot Protect the Whole World
When Wall Street Journal writes something about Georgia, Georgian people (those who know what WSJ is) read it.
Romanian Ambassador on Navy, NATO and Russian Relations
Georgia is offering NATO the chance to deploy its navy in Poti port. If realized, this will dramatically change the power balance in the Black Sea basin
Innovative Reforms to Increase Education Quality in Georgia
From Aleksandre Jejelava’s Article published in The Economist’s World 2017 Georgian edition
Georgia-EU visa-free travel takes effect
Visa-free travel for Georgian citizens with the EU has already taken effect.
"What else should be done by Georgia to get NATO membership?"
Last week, the Foreign Minister of Hungary, Péter Szijjártó, visited Georgia to bolster the bilateral relations between the two countries
Tbilisi-Based Dutch Professor on Dutch Elections, Erdogan, Putin and Saakashvili
On March 15, parliamentary elections were held in The Netherlands. Despite most polls predicting a victory for “Dutch Trump” Geert Wilders,
First photo of Justice Minister's newborn child
The Justice Minister of Georgia gave birth to a baby girl on March 18 and her first photo has already been published on the official page of Gagua Clinic.
Georgia’s Justice Minister off for a maternity leave
Georgian Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani is on a maternity leave and for the next two months, her duties will be carried out by her First Deputy, Alexander Baramidze.
James Appathurai comments on the so-called elections in Abkhazia, Georgia
The Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai commented on the so-called elections taken place in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia
David Kramer: Georgia Has a Strong Ally in the Pentagon
Last week, Tbilisi hosted some of the most high-ranking opinion-makers and experts in the Western world.
Austrian Ambassador on that Refugee Camp Idea
It didn’t really become a point of discussion in European media.
OSCE Concerned over Closure of Crossing Points with Breakaway Abkhazia
The Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairmanship issued a statement over the closure of two crossing points along the administrative
Georgia’s citizens to enjoy visa-free travel with the EU from March 28 - EU Official Journal
The decision on providing Georgia with visa-free travel in the EU has been published in the European Union’s Official Journal.
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
22.07.2017
23.07.2017
USD
1
USD
2.3983
2.3983
EUR
1
EUR
2.7923
2.7923
GBP
1
GBP
3.1183
3.1183
RUB
100
RUB
4.0713
4.0713
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Other Stories
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
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
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.3983
EUR
1
EUR
2.7923
GBP
1
GBP
3.1183
RUB
100
RUB
4.0713