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Former NAEC employee missing

By Salome Modebadze
Thursday, June 14
Mamuka Jibladze, the author of the computerized adapted test (CAT) algorithm for high school graduation tests, has disappeared after a June 11 telephone conversation with former National Examination Centre (NAEC) director Maia Miminoshvili. Jibladze was among the 60 people who left NAEC in protest after Miminoshvili was removed from her post.

As Miminoshvili told The Messenger on Wednesday, she was to meet Jibladze at 2 o’clock in Vake, near his apartment. According to Miminoshvili, he never appeared.

Jibladze had other business plans for that day, but missed them all. His mother has no information about her son's disappearance. “The only thing I know is where he had to go… and nothing more,” she said.

His former colleagues from the NAEC have been calling him, but in vain. As Miminoshvili said, at first they did not pay much attention to his failure to return their calls, but soon they became very scared.

Stressing that Jibladze was a very busy person, Miminoshvili found it difficult to discuss the possible reasons for his disappearance. “He’s a very important figure, he’s also my friend and he does a great job,” she said, adding that Jibladze rarely leaves his mother for long periods of time, because of her health problems.

After Miminoshvili’s removal from the NAEC directorship, 60 of her colleagues quit in protest. The former team spoke out about possible “risks and threats” from law enforcement. Miminoshvili said although some other of her colleagues had been threatened, she had never heard anything leveled against Jibladze.

Jibladze’s mother has asked the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to study the case. Shota Utiashvili, head of the MIA's Analytical Department, confirmed that an investigation is under way and as soon as they find new information it will be made public.