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Saakashvili stresses importance of English language for Georgians at Batumi sitting

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, September 13
The priorities of the Georgian education system, special suggestions for the Georgian and foreign business sector and news concerning crossings of borders were the main issues of the Government sitting held in Piazza Square in Batumi, on September 11, which was chaired by the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.

“27 new hotels should be built in Kobuleti pine forest, by August 1 of next year. Those Georgian and foreign businessmen who will start building the hotels on the territory from November and complete the process by August will be given the land for free. We have never before offered such conditions. This is a special opportunity for those people who know what is important and how to respond such chances, “Saakashvili stated.

While speaking on tourism infrastructure, the President moved on to educational issues and underlined the importance of the English language. He mentioned that teachers and policemen who pass exams in English language will get a GEL 200 bonus on monthly salaries, “All police officers and patrols at lower level, who pass exams in the English language and computer skills, would receive additional salaries of GEL 200. It will be the same for teachers. Herewith, all graduates of higher education institutions should speak English and no graduate gets a diploma if he can not speak English. We would not be able to have our higher education institutions changed to English-language education, because a lot of our entrants and even those who have already entered universities do not even know Georgian well,” the President stated and added that there is a need for technical direction specialists in the country, “we should understand what basic problems in the education system mean. They cause many other problems in terms of development of the country,” Saakashvili said.

A new service has been installed for Georgian citizens and tourists at checkpoints, the Interior Minister, Vano Merabishvili said during the sitting, “Based on the new service, cars crossing Georgian-Armenian, or Georgian-Azerbaijan border are being stopped for only a few seconds and undertake all procedures without coming out of the cars. This service will soon be activated at Sarpi checkpoint,” Merabishvili said.

Environment pollution and measures against polluters was another issue on which the President touched, as Saakashvili said, strict measures will be carried out against those who pollute the seaside in Adjara. A fine of GEL 500 will be imposed on any person who breaks the law or he will be sent to 24-hour administrative custody, “All lawbreakers will face strict measures, under the European Convention of Human Rights and other international norms,” the President stated.

As analyst Gia Khukhashvili stated for The Messenger, all that the authorities move towards the English language can be regarded as a language war against Russia, “The fact that the English language is important as it is the main language of information in the modern epoch is clear for everyone. In part, Governmental policy concerning the issue is understandable. However there is no need for such propaganda and to bring the language inside the country forcibly. All that the authorities are doing regarding English reminds me of the Soviet period, when the soviet authorities were establishing Russian violently inside Georgia. The market reveals itself what is uppermost and artificial involvement in this is unacceptable. I have the impression that all that is being said and done concerning English by the authorities equates to a language war with Russia, which is a short sighted and absurd policy.

First of all, the Georgian language is the problem inside the country and it should be the main priority of the present authorities.” Khukhashvili stated and added, “The authorities have created a great absurdity and making comments on their activities has become unimaginable. When you talk about tourism and set special frames in which some activities must be fulfilled it is out of context. A businessman should judge for himself what is worthy of investment and invest money accordingly. The market creates the demand itself,” Khukhashvili said.