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The News in Brief

Thursday, April 1
Georgia marks 19th anniversary of restoration of its statehood

Yesterday Georgia marked the19th anniversary of the restoration of its statehood.

On March 31, 1991 the Georgian Government under the leadership of Supreme Council Head Zviad Gamsakhurdia held a referendum on restoring independence in which the participants were asked, ‘Do you agree with the restoration of Georgia’s statehood on the basis of the Act of Independence dated 26 May 1918?’ This was the most significant event in the country’s recent history. 89.3 percent of the electorate voted and 98.9 percent of these voted for the restoration of statehood. On the basis of this referendum on April 9, 1991 the Georgian Supreme Council announced the restoration of Georgia’s independence under the Act of Independence dated May 26, 1918.

A boycott of the referendum of March 31, 1991 was declared by the National Congress, which later took an active part in a military coup against Gamsakhurdia. This was the last referendum held throughout Georgia, including Abkhazia and Samachablo (South Ossetia). (Interpressnews)

Supporters of National Council clash with law enforcers

Supporters of the National Council in Samegrelo have clashed with law enforcers. The incident followed blocking of the central highway near the village of Teklati by National Council leaders during a demonstration.

The National Council leaders and their supporters were holding a protest by the monument to Zviad Gamsakurdia in the centre of Zugdidi. Zurab Noghaideli’s party stated that police stopped a car with a portable stage on it belonging to the party at 04:00, 10 km. from Zugdidi due to a failure of its rear brakes and imposed a fine on it.

Leaders of the National Council and their supporters went to the Senaki patrol department and demanded the return of the illegally seized car. Zurab Noghaideli stated that he was ready to pay the fine, but was not allowed to.

The action participants then blocked central highway of Teklati. The car was returned after the clash and the National Council members reopened the highway. (Interpressnews)

Georgian side releases one so-called South Ossetian and two citizens of Russia

Georgia has released one so-called South Ossetian and two citizens of Russia. Head of the Shida Kartli Regional Department of the Georgian Interior Ministry Vladimer Jugheli confirmed this to Interpressnews.

"Six people were released. Three of them were handed over to the Ossetian side on 29 March and three others on 30 March. All of them were released on the department’s decision," Jugheli stated.

Resident of North Ossetia Zaurbek Khestanov, resident of Nizhegorod district Temur Amboev and citizen of so-called South Ossetia Goneri Toroshelidze were handed over to the Ossetian side yesterday at the village of Ergneti. The Georgian side had previously released resident of Tskhinvali Gennady Pliev, resident of Didmukha village Vadim Tadtaev and Khatuna Charaeva from Akhalgori.

The Tskhinvali regime called Tbilisi's decision a PR action prior to the next round of Geneva negotiations. (Interpressnews)

Virtual labs to start functioning in schools

Minister of Education and Science Dimitri Shashkin has attended a chemistry lesson at the virtual laboratory of Tbilisi public school number 186.

150 teachers of chemistry, physics and mathematics in Tbilisi and 50 regional pilot schools have passed a two-day training session at the laboratory organised by the National Curriculum and Assessment Centre of the Ministry of Education and Science. The teachers will now use modern teaching methods at schools. After gaining experience at the pilot schools, general recommendations about information and communication technologies will be developed at public schools.

It is very important to use information and communication technologies in science classes, especially in schools which are not equipped with the appropriate infrastructure, the Ministry says. In accordance with the President’s initiative and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science and the National Curriculum and Assessment Centre, teachers will now be able to improve lessons and make them more interesting by using the virtual labs.

Launching this programme in schools and using it in the educational process will help teachers reach the goals defined by the National Curriculum. In particular, it will increase the motivation of the schoolchildren, form and develop the research abilities of the children in the natural sciences and promote a better understanding of the main concepts.

The Minister announced that the main goal of the ongoing educational reform is to create educational programmes which will support the use and adoption of modern technologies and developing the professionalism of teachers. (Interpressnews)

New political party founded

Another new political party has been founded. The presentation of All Georgia was held in the Hotel Radisson yesterday. The founders of the party said that Akaki Gasviani, a member of the Abkhazian Autonomous Republic's Supreme Council, would lead the party.

Gasviani said that the party would have a national-centric orientation and would not focus on confrontation but on reintegration and reconciliation.

The founders of the party said that it had 1,500 members and no sponsors. The party plans to cooperate with all other political parties, which focus on national values.

The new party will not participate in the local government elections on May 30. It will support the candidate for Tbilisi Mayor which has a programme oriented on saving people, its founders said. (Rustavi 2)