Students against Self-Government
Tamta Beliashvili, http://humanrightshousetbilisi.wordpress.com
Film by studio monitor Students against Self-Government was shown in the café Althaus on April 3rd in Tbilisi. Event was organized by Human Rights House Tbilisi. Students of different higher education institutions and members of Laboratory 1918 attended the screening.
Journalist Salome Tsetskhladze is the author of the film. The film talks about problems and conflicts between the student self-government and students. One of the main problems of students is irrational spending of student budget. Students of Ivane Javakhishvili State University complain that money allocated from the state budget is not spent on their necessities and is mainly used for concerts and other kind of entertainment.
The film raises suspicion that participation in exchange programs and other kind of student activities is decided by principle of patronage and the member of self-government and their friends have a higher change to participate in such programs.
Students of Tbilisi State University have different kinds of problems and requests which are not satisfied despite numerous protests i.e. their request to translate books in Georgian language, to properly teach foreign language, to conduct educational excursions, activities and etc…
Salome Tsetskhladze’s film also showed the facts of physical violence against the students who participated in protest actions.
After the screening, Salome Tsetskhladze talked about the obstacles the film crew faced while making this film. Particularly, Studio Monitor had problems to obtain public information. Journalist was not given sufficient data on budget spending of student self-government to thoroughly cover the issue.
“This film was made last year, but it is still relevant as the conflict between the students and self-government is still relevant i.e. a while ago students were beaten and the self-government was accused for beating. Except for the reasons of this conflict, we were also interested in what the self-government does and how the leaders of student self-government manage to get in high governmental posts. The film also talks about what self-government do to improve the quality of education. It turned out that big part of money is spent on entertainment and sport activities when students do not have books.”
According to Ani Chankotadze, member of Laboratory 1918, this film shows well what is going on in universities and the obscurity students live in: “The film also depicts that we are disarmed in the fight for our rights. There is a fear syndrome in the students that if they fight to achieve their goal and satisfy their requests, they will get beaten. But if not them, who else can protect students’ rights?”
Students shared experience and methods which can help them protect their rights and satisfy their requests.
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