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Much Ado about Georgian Agriculture University

Published: March 13, 2013 | 8:58 am
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(CNA)-Kakha Bendukidze, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board of the Georgian Agriculture University, calls on the Giorgi Margvelashvili, Minister of Education to resign. Bendukidze made the statement during the visit at Position political talk-show aired on Rustavi 2 on March 12. He accused Margvelashvili of telling lies and making illegal decisions while discussing the suspension of authorization of the Agriculture University.

“He (referring to Margvelashvili) is a liar and a shameful person and if I were him, I would resign. A person like him cannot be a minister,” stated Bendukidze.

In response the Minister declared: `We have freed this country from the hands of Bendukidze, Adeishvili and Merabishvili and saying I have to resign because Bendukidze is saying so, is a bit ridiculous. If the university wants to continue its work, they should fill the existing gaps and submit a statement on authorization again.”

Richard Norland, Ambassador of the United States to Georgia, commented on the recent developments at the Agrarian University of Georgia, which has been suspended its authorization by the education quality center on March 11. According to Norland, the academics and politics should not be mixed: “`I am sure this issue will be looked at carefully. There were accusations that politics and academics were mixed before and now there are accusations that politics and academics were mixed now. So this will have to be studied and the main thing is to keep academics and politics separate.”

The decision of the Education Quality Center caused protest of the university students and professors, taking about politically motivated background. On their side, the authorities of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia claim that the suspension of the authorization of the Agrarian University was caused by the violations revealed and the university can demand new authorization after dealing with these problems.

International and non-governmental organizations have published statements regarding the recent developments at the Georgian Agriculture University, to which the ministry of education has suspended authorization. Transparency International Georgia has published a statement on its website. The NGO says the relevancy of the violations discovered by the education quality center and suspension of authorization with this reason triggers doubts: “We call on the Ministry of Education and the National Center of the Education Quality Development to provide transparency of the process in order to protect the decisions from being assessed as politically motivated. It is important that the Ministry of Education had equal approach to all other universities and the restoration of authorization to the Agrarian University was implemented by considering the interests of the students.”

Kakha Bendukidze is a Georgian politician and businessman. After the Rose Revolution, he served as Georgian Minister of Economy (June–December 2004), Minister for Reform Coordination (December 2004 – January 2008) and Head of the Chancellery of Government of Georgia (February 2008 – February 2009).


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