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Lecturers of the Tskhinvali University Send a Protest Note to the Minister of Education

25.12.2006
uni.jpgProfessors of the Tskhinvali State University sent a protest Note to the Minister of Education and Science, Alexsandre Lomaia. Nearly sixty lecturers of the internally displaced university protest the combining the Tskhinvali and Gori Universities. Lecturers form the Gori University join the pretest as well.

The point is that the university fever has been renewed in Gori. In April, before herald for gaining the accreditation arrived in Gori State University, the idea of combining the Tskhinvali and Gori Universities had initiated.

Human Rights Centre conversed with the temporary rector of the Tskhinvali University, Zaza Tsotniashvili.

Journalist: We have information that the Minister of Education discusses the issue of combining the Gori and Tskhinvali Universities. What can you say about it?

Mr. Tsotniashvili: The name of “Tshkhinvali” is very precious for me. My whole life is connected with this university. As far as I have guessed, the new approach of universities does not foresee the mentioning of the universities with the names of the cities they are located in. The principal idea of the universities is to create a real university hearth. If this integration is effective, in this case, I am ready to serve the university as an ordinary lecturer and also the students who will receive the diplomas for their valuable high education. It will ensure future success and further development of our region.

Journalist: What are your future prospects?

Mr. Tsotniashvili: Rome cannot be built in one day. The best part of the university surrounds me. Their aim is to create strong university hearth. We will be able to prepare well-educated, qualified students and the principal goal for them will be to serve their country.
 
Klara Elchibegashvili, temporary rector of the Gori University confirms the fact of combining the two universities. She declared, that officials from the Ministry of Education had informed her about the fact. Thus, she said that the professors of the Giri University were against the combination.

Tskhinvali University could not receive accreditation this year unlike last year. In 2006 most part of the Gori University was fired and only two of them appealed the court. One of them withdrew the appeal soon; while the second did not appeal the court verdict at the higher instance. Former lecturers were protesting their dismissal from the university, however, most of them were neither docent, nor doctor. We have documents that prove several professors’ are plagiarist. They have stolen their works from other people.

Some of unqualified lecturers moved to the Tskhinvali University. The authority of the university did not consider the upcoming danger of losing last year accreditation and employed all lecturers dismissed from the Gori University. It resulted into a hard luck of the internally displaced University because it did not show the high education of the lecturers.

The university had problem of the space as well. Zaza Tsotniashvili confessed it too. In 2005 when Interior Minster Vano Merabishvili opened a Patrol Police building officially, everybody knew that the students of the Tskhinvali University used to have lectures there. That means that the Gori Cotton Factory exiled the students from its territory and they moved to the patrol police building. By the way, present director of the Cotton Factory. Laini Ltd, Nukri Gelashvili, is a close relative of Merabishvili. Gela Chkheidze, former director of the Ltd also was a close relative of Merabishvili. Prosecutor-General and Irakli Okruashvili former Defense Minister launched criminal proceeding against Chkheidze. However, since Merabishvili was appointed as an Interior Ministry, Chkheidze became sacred.  

Officials from the Tskhinvali University well remember the fact that the board of the Laini Ltd gave a part of its building to them in Tsotniashvili’s favor. This favor had resulted from Tsotniashvilis being close relatives of the Chkheidzes. The building, where Patrol Police Department is located now, survived by the effort of the Tskhinvali University professors. Otherwise, it would have been sold as a scrap iron in Turkey like many other buildings of the Laini Ltd.

According to the Human Rights Center’s information, the idea of combining the two universities is supported by those people at the Ministry of Education, who are close to Paata Chkheidze. He is a brother of Gela Chkheidze who seized the Tskhinvali University the area he had presented them before and granted it to the patrol police.

If the two universities are combined, Paata Chkheidze will have a chance to return there. He was resigned from the position of the Dean of the Foreign Languages Faculty and the university did not give him the salary for those months he had spent in America.  Offended Chkheidze threatened the University saying “I will return!” The Gori University did not pay him anything because they had not been sent him to America.

They think at the Gori University that Chkheidze wants to be a rector of the combined university. He demanded to establish an independent university of the foreign languages and literature in Gori while he was a dean at the University.

Generally, nobody sees any prospect for success through combining the two universities, At the Gori university people think that their one-year-long effort might be wasted by this combination. As for the Tskhinvali University, it could disappear from the map of Georgian universities at all.

It would be soon find out whether Paata Chkheidze will return the board of the University. However, it is not news that the reduction of the Okruashvili and his people’s influence in Gori will increase the power of Chkheize. Everybody knows in Gori that the Chkheidzes are blamed for destroying the Gori Cotton Factory.


Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori

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