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Compiled by Tato Gachechiladze
Thursday, June 7
Weak students discouraged from taking exams

Iliauni professor Giorgi Gakheladze has told Rezonansi that weaker students were asked to not to participate in the Unified National Exams in order to prevent the Ministry of Education and Science from reprimanding school administrations, and to improve overall education statistics.

According to the Ministry, 41,000 students participated in the exams this year and only 2,000 of them failed – or approximately 5%.

Professor Simon Janashia says that students have spoken about the fact that they were not allowed to participate. He maintains that some principals have been punished for allowing weaker students to take the exam.

According to Janashia, the Ministry is committed to showing the public that the quality of education is improving, which is what drives these decisions. “Certainly, if we hide negative statistics and show only the positive we will look like the Soviet Union in this regard,” he said.

Will Clinton’s visit make a difference?

Rezonansi asked two public figures for their thoughts on US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s visit, and how successful her meetings were.

Merab Kokochashvili, film director: “I think it has proved that 20 years of Georgian-American relations have been successful and useful for both countries. Clinton confirms that we are civilized and on the right track. Her statement that Georgia should continue its way in a democratic direction proves it again, as the elections are approaching. After her visit nothing significant will change, however her statement about reinforcing democratic institutions in Georgia will be influential.”

Gela Nikolaishvili, lawyer: “Hilary Clinton has specified America’s attitude towards the elections in Georgia. So, the Georgian authorities will be obliged to carry out democratic elections. The authorities should also give consent on several issues, for instance, they should make a compromise and give rights to opposition TV channels to broadcast in the regions, and second – they should reduce terror, pressure, and dismissal from jobs of [opposition supporters].”