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The News in Brief

Friday, February 13
New textbooks for conflict affected and vulnerable children

More than 30,000 new textbooks have been provided for 5,000 conflict affected and vulnerable children in the regions of Gori, Kareli, Kaspi and Khashuri as well as to IDP children living in the various collective centres of the capital Tbilisi. The procurement of new textbooks is a joint effort of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, UNICEF, World Vision, The Ministry of Education of Estonia, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, The Alma Adamkus Charity and Support Fund of Lithuania and the International Rescue Committee.

The textbook handover ceremony was held at Khashuri School number 3 (50, Rustaveli Street) on 12 February. Ms. Ana Zhvania, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, H.E. Mr. Toomas Lukk, Ambassador of Estonia to Georgia, H.E. Mr. Mecys Laurinkus, Ambassador of Lithuania to Georgia, H.E. Mr. Raimonds Vingris, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Georgia, Ms Kendra Gregson, UNICEF Acting Representative, Mr W. David Womble, National Director of the International NGO World Vision and Mr. M Peter Leifert, Country Director of the International Rescue Committee, attended.

The textbooks will be donated to the libraries of 140 schools in the abovementioned regions of Georgia. The provision of new textbooks will enable those students who, for various reasons, do not have the textbooks necessary to get full education, to enjoy equal opportunities and have better access to free education.

“I would like to thank our donors and partners for their support” said Giovanna Barberis, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “I do hope these new textbooks will encourage children to improve their scholastic achievements and do better in their schooling. The provision of textbooks is a challenge for the Georgian education sector. Their cost is too high for many parents and this, in many cases, prevents children from enrolling in school. Another problem is that the content of textbooks changes rapidly and students cannot use books used by their older siblings. We continue our work to ensure that a lack of textbooks does not deprive children of their basic right of free and quality education,” added Barberis. (The Messenger)

Ministry gives details of incident

The press spokesperson of the new Ministry of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance has given details of an incident of self-injury committed by the convict Tsitso Tsabashvili. Ana Kebadze told the media that the convict has no complaints against the Penitentiary Department.

Kebadze said the prisoner is demanding a reexamination of her case and by injuring herself she was expressing her protest over this issue, nothing more, the spokesperson said. She added that the convict`s health is stable now and she remains under medical observation.

The woman, who is serving a sentence in a women`s facility, rammed nails into her hands and legs two days ago. (Rustavi 2)

Dutch Foreign Minister meets IDPs in Tserovani

Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Maxim Verhagen visited the IDP settlement in Tserovani yesterday together with the Minister of Refugees and Resettlement, Koba Subeliani.

The Minister spoke to people who fled their homes during the Russian military intervention, who told him their problems. (Rustavi 2)

Speaker attends opening of new university in Tbilisi

A new university has been opened in Tbilisi. Davit Bakradze, the Speaker of Parliament and Vice Speaker Paata Davitaia attended the inaugural ceremony of the University of Economics and Law.

At present, the university only provides Masters and Doctorate courses. Bachelors courses will begin in September.

The university has three departments, of Economics, Law and Media. It is situated in Lotkini District, Tbilisi, and equipped with modern facilities. (Rustavi 2)

Georgia accuses Russia of resuming media war

Tbilisi is accusing Moscow of resuming its media war with Georgia. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Aleksander Nalbandov said today that Russia has deliberately spread reports accusing Georgia of sending police forces to the administrative borders of its breakaway regions. The Deputy Minister denies these allegations and the EU observer mission has also released a statement in this regard.

Nalbandov said that international observers have conducted monitoring of the areas adjacent to the administrative borders and confirmed that there are no Georgian police forces near the conflict regions. (Rustavi 2)