Saakashvili gives students the ‘triangles of success’
By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Monday, November 9
On November 6 President Mikheil Saakashvili met students and professors at Ilia Chavchavadze State University, where he discussed ongoing reforms in the education field.
Saakashvili highlighted the necessity of changing the people’s way of thinking and mentality. He said that the mode of deferential feudal thinking is still prevalent in the country and society should do its best to fight against that way of thinking, because it implies putting one’s own interests higher than the interests of the nation as well as society as a whole.
The President talked about the significance of the integration of national minorities and increasing the level of education in Georgia. He called on students as well as the whole of society to take care to making all spheres of activity more modern, rather than relying on the old cultural traditions, in order to help Georgia meet new global challenges.
Saakashvili emphasised that pupils do not go to school in their final terms because they find that this is not necessary to pass the university entry exams. “This is one of the hardest things to have occurred in the recent period”, Saakashvili said. The President said that the way to resolve this situation is what the Education Ministry is doing at present - making discipline more severe in schools, encouraging children, conducting school Olympiads and awarding the best pupils with gold and silver medals.
Drawing on a board, the President told students that two triangles he was drawing contained the elements on which success is based in modern life. He put the history of multiethnic Georgia, the Georgian language and “military-patriotic education” as the points of the first triangle. Concerning military-patriotic education he said that Georgia planned to re-establish a school of cadets, where military education can be given from the age of 14. “The second triangle, without which modern, competitive Georgia cannot exist consists, of course, of computer skills, mathematics and knowledge of foreign languages,” Saakashvili said.
“These two triangles – computers, mathematics, foreign languages one the one hand and history, language and military-patriotic education, taking into account the necessity of the integration of our national minorities, on the other, are the cornerstones on which modern Georgia stands and through which we will achieve success and defeat the egoistic and particularistic mentality,” he said.
Saakashvili highlighted that Georgia has many things to be proud of. Ilia Chavchavadze had tried to prove that the common interest is more important than the private one. “Why did the conflict between Ilia Chavchavadze and Ivane Machabeli occur? Machabeli had got a loan from the bank and demanded from Ilia that he allow him postpone the repayments. Ilia answered that he respected him but was not able to do so because he could not violate bank rules. My allies and I have often encountered such situations. If the Ministry of Interior allows a compromise like this, no policeman could be asked to be objective and unbiased,” Saakashvili stated, adding that if the Minister of Education was permitted to behave like this it would be impossible to ask any director or university lecturer to defend them.