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The News in Brief

Thursday, June 10
Education Minister discusses innovations with Tbilisi teachers

Minister of Education and Science Dimitri Shashkin has met around 200 teachers from Tbilisi and the regions and informed them about the innovations planned for the next academic year.

The Minister told teachers that there will be a new educational programme of two semesters rather than a trimester. The academic year will begin on September 15 and finish on June 15. Teaching hours will be changed as a result of the new disciplines which will be introduced in the next academic year. Schoolchildren will study history of art, civil defence and safety. Physical fitness will be replaced with sports classes.

The assessment system will also change. School journals will be changed accordingly. Schoolchildren will be evaluated on the basis of three criteria: homework, school exercises and tests. Grades will be written in three columns. School textbooks will be changed as well. The best models of textbooks have been selected according to new approval regulations.

The teachers' professional ethics code has been drafted. Soon, a code of behaviour for schoolchildren and Principals will come into force in order to regulate interpersonal relations in schools.

A school assessment programme will also be launched. Schools will be given stars according to different criteria. These stars will define the success of schools. The criteria are various and reflect the components modern general educational institutions should have. This programme is designed to create a competitive environment which will improve the quality of studying. (Pirveli)

Lithuanian MP visits Georgia

One of the authors of the resolution adopted by Lithuanian lawmakers last week is currently in Tbilisi. Dainius Zalimas held meetings at the Georgian Parliament yesterday.

Zalimas worked on the document which states that Russia is occupying Georgian territory. He discussed Georgia-Lithuanian relations, European integration and Diaspora issues with the Parliamentary Committees on Foreign Relations.

The Lithuanian MP responded to the sharp criticism pf the resolution by Russian counterparts. He said that this was not a surprise for him and added that it was a pity that Russian lawmakers still think this way. Russian MPs from the ruling party have slammed Lithuania for adopting the resolution, the first international document in which Russia is called an occupier and Georgia`s two regions occupied territories. (Rustavi 2)

Labour Party demands that constitution bans Saakashvili from Government

The Labour Party is demanding that the new constitution bans Mikheil Saakashvili from staying in government after 2013.

Prolongation of his term of office is one of Saakashvili's plans, Kakha Dzagania, one of the leaders of the Labour Party, said at a press conference. "Mikheil Saakashvili, strengthened by rigging the local elections, is going to remain in power by becoming Prime Minister after 2013. The Labour Party appeals to the Chairman and members of the State Constitutional Commission not to become Saakashvili's servants and further his dictatorial ambitions," Dzagania said. (Interpressnews)

International drug barons in pre-trial detention

On Wednesday Tbilisi City Court discussed the cases of two people tied to an international drug cartel. Levan Gviniashvili is accused of kidnapping, extortion and drug distribution, and Grisha Komakhidze of extortion and kidnapping.

Representatives of the Interior Ministry said that Komakhidze, Gviniashvili and some yet unidentified people kidnapped head of the international drug trafficking network in Georgia Nugzar Bochorishvili and his associate Giorgi Chechelashvili. Grisha Komakhidze and Levan Ghviniashvili said they were aware of Bochorishvili's involvement in drug trafficking and demanded 250,000 Euro to keep quiet about this, threatening him with murder if he did not comply. The two burnt down his house in Kojori to intimidate him, it is alleged.

As the detainees are charged with very serious crimes, they were sentenced to 2 months pre-trial detention. Lawyers for the detainees demanded their release on bail. Gviniashvili and Komakhidze themselves are exercising their right to silence. (Rustavi 2)

CEC rejects Davit Saganelidze's complaint

The Central Election Commission of Georgia has not satisfied the complaint of Alliance for Georgia local election candidate Davit Saganelidze. The CEC session dedicated to discussing this complaint lasted until late on Tuesday night.

Besides querying the legitimacy of election results at polling stations 8, 53, 66, 68, 70 and 75 of the Vake district the Alliance for Georgia had urged the Commission to declare District Election Commission Secretary Manana Tsindeliani and member of the commission Maia Zhghenti guilty of wrongdoing. However the CEC rejected the complaint due to "lack of grounds". (Pirveli)