TBILISI, DFWatch–Students at Tbilisi State University (TSU) will resume their protests on Saturday, after negotiations with the Ministry of Education failed.
After a meeting with Education Minister Tamar Sanikidze Wednesday evening, members of the group Auditorium 115, which held an almost week long sit-in at TSU in March, said they will return to the university on Saturday and continue their protests.
Students claim a bill proposed by the Ministry of Education to reform the student’s union – one of their main demands – is only a ‘rebranding’ of the body, not abolishing it.
“Earlier we agreed that the students do not need presidents, heads, a privileged group, which misspends money on entertainment events, while important educational projects are not carried out,” Auditorium 115 wrote in a statement.
Other demands they have are to reform the education system, and make science a priority; giving a representative function to the students elected to smaller councils; preparing a new democratic way to elect the TSU’s rector and the academic council; freeing the university from state security agents.
Auditorium 115’s sit-in ended on March 16. The student’s union, which had also been protesting, also ended their protest the same day.
Meanwhile, the academic council will hold a ballot on April 20 to select an acting rector, to replace Vladimer Papava, who resigned shortly after the protests were over. Registration of candidates ends tomorrow. There are currently only two candidates registered.