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
President signs petition on new government composition
The President has already signed the Prime Minister’s petition on a new government composition, the presidential administration told InterPressNews agency.
Unusual hobbies of Georgian politicians
Hobbies of Georgian deputies and functionaries - Ambebi.ge attempted to find out what they do in their leisure time.
Irakli Gharibashvili presents new ministerial candidates
Minister Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili presented ministerial candidates.
Irakli Gharibashvili’s status is a Prime Minister – Giorgi Margvelashvili
Georgia’s President Giorgi Margvelashvili stated that Irakli Gharibashvili’s status is a Prime Minister. By issuing this statement, he has responded to the constitutionalists
Irakli Gharibashvili dismisses 7 ministers
Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili has removed 7 ministers from their posts
"Russian government is responsible for the plane crash that took place in Ukraine" - Saakashvili
The Russian government is responsible for the plane crash that took place in Ukraine, former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili told "Rustavi 2" TV from Zurich.
NATO-Georgia Relations: 28 Minus 1
There is no doubt whatsoever that NATO-Georgia relations cannot be managed without taking into account the reaction from Russia. Moscow needs NATO
Narmania - 73,51%, Melia - 26, 49% - CEC primary results
As per the preliminary data of the Central Election Commission, Georgian Dream candidate Davit Narmania is leading
“Today we should choose a mayor who will be independent in his decisions” – Nika Melia
National Movement’s Tbilisi mayoral candidate Nika Melia has already cast his ballot.
"Some interest has been expressed in the discount concept for voters who vote" - Richard Norland
Some interest has been expressed in the discount concept for voters who vote, United States Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland told reporters.
Farewell To “The White Fox”
On July 7th, at the age of 86, arguably Georgia’s most renowned and controversial politician Eduard Shevardnadze died peacefully in his Tbilisi residence.
"Justice should not be politically motivated" - James Appathurai
The bottom line for NATO is that the judicial processes need to be independent of any political interference, the special representative of NATO Secretary General in South Caucasus
International Business Times removes story about Ivanishvili's Gazprom ties
The International Business Times has removed the story "Bidzina Ivanishvili's Gazprom Ties Are Expensive But Useful For Putinin" light of facts that came to light following publication.
Putin offers Georgian nation his condolences over Shevardnadze’s death
The President of Russia Vladimir Putin expresses his deep sorrow because of Eduard Shevardnadze’s death.
Eduard Shevardnadze dies - BBC Obituary
Eduard Shevardnadze, who has died aged 86, was virtually unknown outside Georgia when Mikhail Gorbachev made him Soviet foreign minister
Carl Bildt : “Arrest of Gigi Ugulava seems to run contrary to previous commitment to the rule of law”
The Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has responded to the former Tbilisi mayor’s imprisonment via Twitter.
EU calls on Georgian government to free court from political influence
The press-speaker of Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of Foreign and Security Policy of the EU has released a statement in relation to Gigi Ugulava’s detention.
An offer you can not refuse - Chief EU Negotiator Gordadze tells a story
Tornike Gordadze, chief negotiator in association agreement with the EU:
 Philip Dimitrov: “Stop telling us that you may fail”
After four years of negotiations and 22 years of cooperation, Georgia took the first very important step – on 27 June, together with Ukraine and Moldova, we signed the Association Agreement with European Union.
”Signing of the Association Agreement with EU is declaration of independence again by Georgia” - Richard Norland
Signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union is in a way declaration of independence by Georgia, United States Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland
'It's clear that Georgia will become a NATO Member' - Damon Wilson
We must expect that there will be attempts of obstruction on the path towards NATO, Damon Wilson, the Executive Vice President
“We saw a number of constructive steps from the Russian authorities and I can only welcome it” – Gharibashvili
“I assure you that if Bidzina Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream had not come to power, this day would not have been in our history”, Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili
'Developments in 2008 are really related to the decision of the Bucharest Summit' - James Appathurai
The developments that took place in 2008 really related to the decision taken at the Bucharest Summit, - the Special Representative of NATO Secretary General in South Caucasus
Rasmussen – Georgia’s election is one more step towards perfect democracy
Georgia’s election is one more step towards perfect democracy, - the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has posted on his own Twitter page.
"There are things that you can do out of love of Georgia" - Philip Dimitrov
There are things that you can do out of love of Georgia, but there are things which you can do only if everything is fine in Georgia, and visa liberalization is exactly this, Philip Dimitrov, the EU Ambassador
Also on the Web
Georgian football team “Chikhura” defeated Turkish “Bursa” in a series of penalty shots with a 4:1 final score during qualification rounds for the Europa League.
Second day of the thirteenth annual international musical contest “New Wave” was dedicated to duets. Contestants performed their countries’ hits with their partners.
On the 23rd of July, the first day of an international musical contest “New Wave 2014” was held in Jurmala, Latvia.
Ukrainian broadcasting company Espreso TV published a video titled “A Georgian soldier fighting for Ukraine’s territorial integrity”.
Fighting in the Gaza Strip has raged on throughout Wednesday, Euronews reports.
The thirteenth go-round of the international musical contest “New Wave” is currently in progress in Jurmala.
Maka Chichua, partner of the Georgian President, has recently uploaded a video of yet another member of Margvelashvili family to her Facebook
The thirteenth go-round of the international musical contest “New Wave” has started in Jurmala, Latvia. This year, 16 contenders from 13 countries will participate.
A car accident on Kakheti highway resulted in casualties. A pickup truck belonging to the Ministry of Defence rammed into a middle-aged woman, who died on the spot.
A well-known TV presenter Tina Kandelaki is an avid gym bunny and spends a lot of time exercising.
GEL Exchange
EUR
1
EUR
2.3652
USD
1
USD
1.7555
GBP
1
GBP
2.9868
RUB
100
RUB
5.0045