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Educational dilemma

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 23
Students of Tbilisi Ivane Javakhishvili State University, the oldest university in the whole of the Caucasus region, held a street rally on October 22, demanding the resignation of the University Rector, Vladimir Papava.

The students stated that the University has transformed into a “bureaucratic machine”, with poor infrastructure and unqualified staff.

Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University was established on 8 February 1918 in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi.

TSU is the oldest university in Caucasus. Over 18,000 students are enrolled and the total number of faculty and staff (as well as collaborators) is approximately 5,000.

Papava, a Professor of Economics, took the post under the current state leadership.

Commenting on the rally, Papava stated he was ready to discuss the problematic issues with students and try to find an agreeable outcome.

However, he also stated that major changes in the university required money and the involvement of other actors, as well as several amendments in government legislation.

Tbilisi State University and other state universities have indeed become big bureaucratic machines that have confused rather than educated students, and in many cases left them without the skills needed to start a professional career.

The process of reforming higher education launched under the previous state leadership caused the drafted timetables to be annulled, and students were given a chance to create individual timetables.

Herewith, older staff of the university were dismissed with the argument that they were old and outdated; in many cases, these dismissals were made without any proper assessment of their qualifications.

There were some mandatory and elective subjects the students were obliged to study and accumulate credits to graduate from the University.

In many cases, elective subjects chosen by the students, which took several hours in a week, had nothing in common with the profession later selected by them. This was mostly due to the staff dismissals; due to the lack of professionals, lecture hours for major, mandatory subjects were decreased, which resulted in students having to study some other subjects to accumulate credits rather than those directly linked with their chosen professions.

Thus, due to the fact that the reform has not been initially discussed as it should have been, the final outcome has been chaotic, and things have yet to be clarified.

The level of education is in direct connection with the country's advancement, simply due to the fact that less qualified people will not build a successful country.

Of course, there are some issues that the University will not be able to cope with alone.

It should be in the interest of all state branches to do their best to ensure a high quality education is provided nationwide, as all state bodies need good staff.

However, there are also some other issues the University can cope with alone, such as the qualifications.

Yet it would be more beneficial for the state interests if all the bodies did their jobs adequately; this would undoubtedly stop people from feeling the need to hold rallies in the streets.