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Georgia Might Have New Education Minister

By Tea Mariamidze
Wednesday, July 11
Unofficial sources say Georgia’s Minister of Education and Science, Mikheil Chkhenkeli will no longer take his post and that he will be substituted by Mikheil Batiashvili, rector of the University of Business and Technology.

Lia Gigauri, Deputy Education Minister, says that the Ministry, which has been lately united with the Ministry of Culture and Sports as a result of the governmental changes, needs a strong and bold minister.

Gigauri did not confirm if Batiashvili will be nominated for the Minister’s post but she explained that the education system is the field in need of the most complex approach.

“The education system needs a leader who is oriented towards the future because people in the system are being prepared for future life. The new minister should be able to cope with future challenges, future needs. We need a strong decision-maker and long-term vision leader," said Lia Gigauri.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Education and Science, Mariam Jashi says she does not have much information about the possible changes but gave positive assessment to Mikheil batiashvili, saying she works in the same university.

“I cannot confirm that there are discussions within the ruling Georgian Dream regarding the Education Minister candidates but I know Mikheil Batiashvili. Personally and professionally I can only evaluate him positively,” she added.

Georgia’s newly elected Prime Minister, Mamuka Bakhtadze, 36, announced last month that he is carrying out structural changes in the Government of Georgia, which envisages the abolition of one and the merger of several ministries, including the unification of the Ministry of Culture and Sports with the Ministry of Education and Science.

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

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

Bakhtadze’s decision about the unification of the Culture and Education bodies has been mostly criticized by the opposition and the representatives both from the education as well as the culture field, saying these two bodies are so important that they need to function separately.