TBILISI, DFWatch–The students at the Agriculture University continued their protest Friday, and handed Education Minister Giorgi Margvelashvili documents which were meant to show that the institution now complies with the law’s requirements.
After studying the documents Margvelashvili said he is assured that the guidelines of the Agriculture University now comes in line with the law.
“I congratulate all,” he said. “The documents which arrived at the ministry today confirm that the guidelines are now improved and in accordance with law.”
He said that the process will continue from Monday and everything will be done in accordance with Georgian law.
The rector on Friday appealed to the Education Ministry to restore the university’s accreditation, which was suspended last week.
Margvelashvili said the Agriculture University’s guidelines are improved, as it shows documentation which were brought to the ministry and which has been on a list of remarks which formed part of the basis for the Authorization Commission suspending the accreditation.
The students are being joined by colleagues from the Tbilisi State University, Ilia State University, Technical University, International Black Sea University, and representatives of NGOs and others who support them, and held another rally on Friday outside the Education Ministry.
Rector Lasha Gotsiridze appeared at the ministry during the rally in order to bring documents into the ministry that will help restore his university’s accreditation. He said one of the reasons for why it was suspended was a lack of communication.
Gotsiridze said he expects a decision about restoring the accreditation by March 18.
Mariam Pataraia, a third academic year student of business administration, told DF Watch that she had been studying at the Agriculture University before it was upgraded and she says there were terrible conditions and low level of teaching.
“There were professors who taught us, but they weren’t professionals,” she said. “I can assure you that in first grade, and especially at the faculty of business administration, I didn’t receive the education that I was expecting and that I should have received. But all this changed from the second grade.”
She said the main goal of the student’s protest is to maintain the situation that came after the rehabilitation, the quality of education and the conditions at this facility.
Many of the students, the academic personnel as well as government opponents, accuse the government of having a political motivation, because the modernization was financed by Kakha Bendukidze, a former economy minister under President Saakashvili. Bendukidze now owns the rights for the university. He claims that the only problem which this university might have is himself and that the government suspended the accreditation in order to punish him.
The students plan to continue their protests from Monday, if their demands aren’t met.