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Majority MP Says Culture, Sport and Tourism Should Remain Separate

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, July 3
Mariam Jashi, Chair of the Parliament’s Education and Science Committee and the member of the ruling Georgia Dream (GD) party, believes that culture, sport and tourism should remain as separate structures.

Georgia’s Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced last week that he is carrying out structural changes in the government of Georgia, which envisages abolition of one and merger of several ministries, including the unification of the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of Education and Science.

Jashi says in the developed countries the ministry of culture functions as a separate body or is united with the tourism department.

According to her, this issue requires additional discussions.

“The consultations will be held with the Prime Minister and Parliament Speaker regarding this issue…I believe that culture, sports and tourism should be a separate body and not a part of the Education Ministry,” the MP stated.

The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Sports were separate bodies until the former Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili carried out government reshuffle last year and reduced number of ministries from 18 to 14.

After Kvirikashvili stepped down on May 13, 2018, the new PM was elected who further decided to decrease the number of ministries from 14 to 11.

The unification of Culture and Education bodies was criticized by the former Deputy Minister of Education Davit Zurabishvili.

He stated that the PM did not provide proper explanations why these two ministries should be merged.

“No has any idea what functions will the merged ministries have or how they will be managed. This issue is not clear,” he added.

Famous Georgian artist Gia Bughadze also slammed the PM and the government for the decision to merge the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia.

In late June, the PM made some explanations regarding the planned changes, saying the society will not be able to receive education as well as culture or establish healthy lifestyle, if the three directions –education, culture and sports are not unified.