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The News in Brief

Monday, December 22
French composer Michel Legrand gives concert at Opera and Ballet Theatre

On December 21 French composer Michel Legrand held a concert at the Tbilisi State Opera and Ballet Theatre where he performed some famous works with his friends.

Legrand stated at a press conference on December 20 that, “I first came to Georgia 12 years ago and was delighted. I loved Georgia all the more due to my connection Tamara Gverdtsiteli, who as you know is my favourite partner. Tomorrow at the concert I will try to give pleasure to spectators,” Legrand told journalists.

At the press conference he touched upon the conflict between Georgia and Russia. “Art stands against everything bad. There was war in Georgia in August and I have come to try and help you overcome the stress,” Legrand noted.

Michel Legrand has received many awards for his music such as the Oscar, Cesar and Golden Globe. He composes, conducts and is a classical pianist. After a concert at the French “Olympia” in 1991 he performed with Tamara Gverdtsiteli and composed music for her.
(Black Sea Press)

Ministry for Refugees and Settlement begins IDPs registration

The Ministry for Refugees and Settlement has started the registration of IDPs and refugees, as Minister for Refugees and Settlement Koba Subeliani told journalists on December 20.

The Minister explained that registration agents will visit the temporary residences of IDPs and register them. After this process has been completed all people who suffered in the August war will receive aid amounting to GEL200 per person before the New Year.

“We have decided to repeat registration in places where IDPs are settled temporarily. From today we will also begin taking additional measures for people who have not been registered so that they too can receive the New Year 200 lari aid,” Subeliani said.
(Black Sea Press)

Paata Davitaia says his comment on Kavkasia was taken out of context

The Chairman of the Temporary Parliamentary Commission on the investigation of the events of August, Paata Davitaia, stated on Saturday at a special briefing that his comments on Kavkasia TV were taken out of context.

“The TV company broadcast the following statement in my name: “They [the Georgian authorities] started the war and began it because for all these years their policy was incorrect. They caused Russia’s aggression, and let nobody think that during our questioning somebody wrote the questions for me,” Davitaia said. However he claimed that these phrases were “taken out of context.” Davitaia explained that “My comment about ‘starting the war’ concerned the deployment of troops to the territory of Tskhinvali that was confirmed by President of Georgia and formed part of the Commission’s conclusion. In this conclusion we also noted that it was a defensive war for us”, he stressed.

However Davitaia confirmed that he still held the opinion that “Georgia’s policy was incorrect.” He said he had no claims against either Kavkasia or any of its journalists. “I have always said what I think,” the Deputy noted.

The Parliamentary Commission headed by Davitaia published its final report this week, which concluded that the actions of the Georgian authorities were of a forced, defensive character in response to the Russian side’s actions. At the same time the Commission exposed some drawbacks and shortcomings in work of state departments, in particular criticizing the work of the Foreign and Defence Ministries.
(Black Sea Press)

Georgian Foreign Minister to visit Azerbaijan December 22-23

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia Grigol Vashadze will pay an official visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 22-23, 2008.

Black Sea Press was told at the Foreign Ministry of Georgia that within the framework of his visit Grigol Vashadze will hold meetings with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, its Prime Minister Artur Rasi-Zade and Minister of Foreign Affairs Elmar Mammadyarov.

The Georgian Foreign Minister will lay a wreath at Azerbaijan national leader Heydar Aliyev’s grave and the Eternal Fire memorial complex. He will also visit the Museum of History and the ancient city site.
(Black Sea Press)

International Educational Researches in Georgia – Reality and Initiatives conference held in Tbilisi

The International Educational Researches in Georgia – Reality and Initiatives conference was held in Tbilisi on December 19.

The aim of the conference was to discuss the results of research and determine a future strategy and concrete steps in the sphere of education. One of the main purposes of the conference was to discuss the knowledge and ability of Georgian teenagers to reason in mathematics and natural sciences. Discussion was held on the basis of data from international comparative research on the quality of education in mathematical and natural science education.

The Association of International Achievements in the sphere of education (IEA) carries out researches in various countries of the world. In 2006-2007 Georgia participated in three large scale IEA researches, a study of the quality of reading and understanding of a text (PIRLS) among pupils of the age of 9-10 years, international comparative research on the quality of mathematical and natural science education (TIMSS) among pupils of the ages of 9-10 and 13-14 years and international research on the education of future teachers of mathematics (TEDS).

Georgia participated in these international researches at the initial stage of its reform of education when it was especially necessary to determine the indicators of the reform and the system monitoring the process. Participation in international researches, determination of their results on the basis of the existing situation, analysis of shortcomings and elaboration of future strategy are important even today for the improvement of the education system. Leading countries of the world determine educational policy, course changes and quality on the basis of international researches.

Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Nikoloz Gvaramia, senior education professionals, NGOs and teachers participated in the conference.
(Black Sea Press)