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Mikheil Chkenkeli gets reappointed as Minister of Education

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, November 14
Former Minister of Education and Science of Georgia Mikheil Chkhenkeli, 51, has been reappointed to the post after the resignation of Mikheil Batiashvili last week. The corresponding order was signed by Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia on Wednesday, November 13; It’s noteworthy that he was previously appointed as the education minister on the same day in 2017.

Mikheil Chkhenkeli held the position of Minister of Education and Science in 2017-2018, and after the appointment of Mikheil Batiashvili, he served as the Prime Minister's Advisor on Education up to now. Before taking the minister’s position, Chkhenkeli served as the deputy head of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University.

Re-appointed minister Chkhenkeli holds a Ph.D. in mathematics and is a member of the Association of Professors of US Universities. He has been delivering lectures at leading US universities for 20 years. Chkhenkeli has also been elected an honorary member of the Academia Europaea in the summer of 2018.

His precursor Mikheil Batiashvili resigned on November 7, 2019, on the basis of a personal statement.

Minister of internally displaced persons from the occupied territories, labor, health and social affairs of Georgia Ekaterine Tikaradze estimates the return of Chkhenkeli as Minister of Education.

Tikaradze says she welcomes Mikheil Chkhenkeli's return and hopes that they will cooperate productively.

“The candidacy of Mikheil Chkhenkeli is really acceptable for me. He was and is a member of our team. We have many joint projects with the Ministry of Education. I am sure we will cooperate productively.”-announced Health minister.

As for the opposition, they didn’t welcome Chkenkeli’s reappointment. MP from United National Movement, Roman Gotsiridze explained new education minister’s candidacy by his submission and obedience: “Their goal is to have subordinate ministers during pre-election period that will carry out the function of Georgian Dream’s election headquarters, just like the previous minister did, on whose shame is the events of Zugdidi, in particular, Kerzaia’s case.”

Member of European Georgia, MP Akaki Bobokhidze also commented on the news, saying Chkenkeli is a good scientist, but “he was a weak minister”, adding that Georgian Dream is turning to the weakest minister in its top priority field.

According to him, such decisions are conditioned by Ivanishvili's conception of the population of Georgia.

“Why do they do the stupid things they do? Because Ivanishvili thinks that the population of Georgia is a swamp society, afraid to move forward and ready to tolerate immobility and swamp rather than advancement,” said Bobokhidze, adding that he hopes Ivanishvili's interpretations are false.