"Georgian Baburin" Kakha Bendukidze14.03.2013 | 21:24
Commission of the National Center for Quality Education has held an unscheduled check of the Agrarian University of Georgia and identified a number of violations. The Council of authorization meeting lasted all night. As a result, authorization of the University has been removed. What was the reason of the unscheduled inspection of the university? And why it's called hunting of the new government for Bendukidze - once the Economy Minister in the government of Saakashvili? Students and the University administration associate the check and termination of authorization, that is the license, with the figure of the former Russian oligarch.
The official cause of the abolition of the authorization of the Agrarian University of Georgia was the point in the charter of the University allowing sending students down in the case of violations of the terms of payment for tuition. Under this point, if the student misses payment, he loses student status and must re-take exams, starting with the first training course, even if a delay in the payment occurs at the final year. As a result, the training cost is twice as much. And the gain from all of this falls into Bendukidze's pocket, who, remaining Chairman of the Supervisory Board, in fact is "boss" of the Agrarian University of Georgia.
Diplomatically ignoring the main claim of the Commission to the Agricultural University, he devotes attention to other unimportant aspects, also noted by the Commission as the reasons why the activities of the university have been frozen.
However, the students caught in suspended condition seem to be the main victims of the check. They protested against the decision of the Commission in the form of boisterous protest in front of the Ministry of Education. Almost immediately after the rally started, Education Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili came out to the students and urged them to be calm offering to go into the building of the Ministry and to discuss the situation in a relaxed atmosphere. He promised the students to answer all their questions. Students selected five representatives from the activists who went into the building to talk to the Minister. At this meeting Giorgi Margvelashvili confirmed the basic reason of termination of the authorization of the University. He promised students that they would not be affected in any case, since the problems associated with deficiencies in the charter were solvable. Administration of the University must only make timely changes in the university charter, making it meet the legislation.
"One of the points, which appeared the main reason for the decision, was the point of the charter of the Agrarian University, under which the University has the right to deprive the student of his status in the event of failure to pay the amount for tuition and to re-obtain the status student must re-take the examination, which is contrary to applicable laws and the Constitution", said Margvelashvili.
"Only in 2011, 609 people lost the status of the student", said Margvelashvili and stressed that the decision to terminate the authorization would take effect only after 4 months, during which they can solve all the problems with the university statutes. Minister of Education managed to calm unrest among the students for some time.
Koba Davitashvili, MP from the majority, in the interview to GTimes expressed his attitude to the termination of the authorization of the University. "This is not the only university in which they have conducted check. Seven universities have undergone it. Those, the charter and activities of which contain inconsistencies and errors, will lose authorization in some time, which is necessary for the correction and elimination of these errors", says the deputy.
-What is the official reason for the termination of authorization of the Agricultural University?
- This is inconsistencies between some of the points of the charter and the law of the country. In particular, the paragraph of the dismissal of students in case of delay with the payment. Law of Georgia "On Higher Education" provides remaining of the status of the student for five years for those who have failed to make a payment for training in time.
-Does this mean that termination of authorization of the universities, particularly of the Agrarian University of Georgia, is in the interest of the students at this stage?
- Yes. This is done in order to protect their rights. It is unacceptable that Mr. Bendukidze created a provision which gave him profit.
- Then how do you explain the excitement among the students, their indignation and protests? If this really is in their best interests, they should understand that.
- The protests were inspired by the members of the National Movement. That's all the explanation.
- What do you think about the view in society that allegedly members of the new government do not love former Minister of Economy, and the issue of the closure of the university is associated with this lack of love?
- The representatives of the new government and I personally do not really love Mr Bendukidze. But the issue with the termination of authorization is in no way connected to this. There are real bugs.