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Rallies continue at Public School No 53

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Friday, April 11
Controversies following the dismissal of Mariam Raminashvili from the position of headmistress of the school number 53 continue.

Students and teachers blocked the entrance to the school yard in order to prevent the acting headmistress, Eka Gakharia, from entering the building. Protesters expressed their negative attitude toward Gakharia, shouting “leave.” Patrol police were mobilized outside the school to control the situation.

Gakharia said leaving the territory that the school administration also shares responsibility over the situation around the school. She said they have to defend rights of those students who want to study. “Of course, teachers can go on a strike, but they have no right to derange the studying process,” she said.

Protesters have started gathering signatures to send it to the Ministry of Education and Science asking Raminashvili’s restoration.

Meanwhile, estimating the situation the Minister of Education and Science, Tamar Sanikidze, said that she will use all the available legal means to renew the educational process at school. She thinks the protest wave has been inspired by the former headmistress.

“The new [acting] headmistress has already been appointed that means the studying process was supposed to start at 9 pm [on Thursday], however, the former headmistress and the part of teachers are motivated to prevent it. I have a feeling that they do not realize what kinds of responsibilities they have toward the students,” Sanikidze said adding that during the last several days she received a lot of calls from disturbed parents who, according to her, claimed that the teachers are calling them and asking them to take part in rallies.

However, the teachers say the opposite. According to them parents of the most active children have been receiving phone calls and were told that if their kids would take part in rally, they could lose their jobs.

According to the information of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, Raminashvili was dismissed because of various financial violations. However, the school staff believes that she was dismissed because she was appointed at her position during the United National Movement’s governance.