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Saakashvili announces new programs for students

By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 7
Along with pensioners and children between the ages of 0-5, all students will be eligible for health insurance packages starting this September, President Mikheil Saakashvili announced on May 4 during a meeting with students at Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University.

As he noted, beginning in September, almost half of population of Georgia will be insured – primarily children up to age 5 and the elderly. Parallel to this project, the next category of the insured will be students, so that newly-opened, ultramodern medical facilities become affordable for them. According to Saakashvili, nobody should be uninsured in Georgia.

The President stressed that the government is doing everything in its power to support and motivate students. By the end of May, every student will receive a card giving them discounts on municipal transport, rail lines, and at shopping centres. The “Summer Job” program will also become operational soon, employing students and providing 500 GEL per month salaries.

Saakashvili also spoke about another new initiative, for those students who do not earn enough points on national university examinations. They will be given the opportunity to earn grants as a result of studying hard and passing special grant exams later.

He maintained that the government hopes to provide the highest quality education to its citizens, as well as a professional and highly-qualified workforce. As the President noted, Batumi will soon become a university town, with the opening of a technical university in September and the strengthening of the Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University. He also mentioned that the government will allocate additional funds in order for students to be able to study abroad.

Speaking about infrastructure projects, Saakashvili said that all regions of Georgia are involved in the rehabilitation process. He said Georgians are adopting to new technologies well and they have already gained some experience – foreign investors are hiring Georgian engineers and specialists to work in other countries.

Finally, the President spoke in detail about the incident in Adjara eight years ago, when then-Governor Aslan Abashidze was forced to resign. Saakashvili said that during that time, Adjara was almost separated from the Georgia’s constitutional space and was under the control of Abashidze and his “Russian friends”. The President asserted that the sacrifice of the Adjaran people, their desire of freedom, and their heroic bravery made a miracle happen on May 6, 2004, snatching Adjara away from Russian hands. Saakashvili noted that, just like in Adjara, Georgia will restore justice and reclaim their breakaway territories.