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Mining Institute for Tkibuli

By Salome Modebadze
Wednesday, September 1
On August 31 Dimitri Shashkin the Minister of Education and Science of Georgia (MES), Lasha Makatsaria the Governor of Imereti Region and Archil Phrangishvili, Rector of Georgian Technical University (GTU) met the Tkibuli miners to discuss President Saakashvili's proposal to open a Miners Professional Education Institute in Tkibuli. Having been familiarised with the situation in the coal mine and the miners’ problems, Shashkin spoke of the importance of the mine-engineering educational institution for improving the professional skills of the miners.

“A special institute will be created to improve the qualifications of staff working in mines. It will also ensure the professionalism of young miners,” the Minister of Education and Science said stressing that the new institution will be created on the basis of the Georgian Technical University. Nino Potrzhebskaia, Head of the MES Press Center told The Messenger a working group responsible for building the new professional institution will be established as part of the GTU mine-engineering department. “This institution will encourage miners to obtain the relevant mining skills, improve their knowledge and learn more about security issues,” explained Potrzhebskaia.

The working group will discuss the location of the new education institution, the courses and the curriculum. The Minister has ordered that during the development of the curriculum special attention should be given to the experience of miners and other specialists in the mining field. “We will do our best to ensure safety within the mines and avoid further explosions like the one which occurred just a few days ago,” said Shashkin.

Lasha Makatsaria, Governor of Imereti Region spoke about the importance of the initiative for the whole region. “Establishing mine-engineering courses is vital for the whole region. Work has started but there are still some details about the issue to be dealt with,” Makatsaria said, hoping there will be no more explosions at Tkibuli coal mine in the future.

The exact location of the mine-engineering professional institution and the precise curriculum are yet unknown. Meetings among those parties responsible for the issue will be held soon. According to information released by the Minister of Education and Science all the needs and demands of the miners will certainly be taken into consideration and the best students in this subject will be given special scholarships from Saknakhshiri, the company which owns the mine (it is a daughter company of Georgian Industrial Group, and has been operating Tkibuli mine since 2006).

Two explosions caused by violating safety rules occurred at Tkibuli mine on March 2 and August 27 this year. Experts have already launched their investigation into the later incident and say the methane gas explosion happened so suddenly it is difficult to determine the exact site of the ignition.