The Committee summoned the Education Minister, Mikheil Batiashvili to hear about the case in Zugdidi School N6.
The Minister started the sitting held by demand of the Minority with the condolences due to death of the Principle of Zugidid School N6, Ia Kerzaia.
Prior to speaking about the case, he introduced the statistic data about inspections by the Ministry noting that the Ministry has developed 269 conclusions within 2016-2018 and the inspection on 15 of which has been ordered on the same or the next day. As to Zugdidi School N6, the application was submitted on November 6, 2018 about sanitary, hygienic and commercial violations. The inspection was held on November 9-15 which confirmed the facts.
“The Ministry, based on the respective conclusion, issued the warning to the school on November 22 and assigned the Board of Trustees to discuss termination of authority of the Principle as of December 4. The Procurement Agency and the Revenue Service have as well been informed about the detected facts. On November 22, 2018, the Ministry received the letter by Ia Kerzaia confirming the violations detected by the inspection and indicating to the elimination process. She mentioned no pressure in her letter or rude attitude by the employees of the Ministry. on November 30, the Board of Trustees discussed most of the violations and other than two of them, approved existence of violations and indicated that most of the violations are eliminated, part is under elimination in the shortest period. The Board also discussed termination of authority of the Principle and made the decision to extend the authority. It is noteworthy that the Ministry might not approve hereof decision and dismiss the Director but let me underline that the Ministry decided to leave Ia Kerzaia on her position as it is misinformed by media and the actors with political interests”.
In view of prevention of similar facts and political risks, the Ministry raised the initiative on moratorium on inspection and audit in schools in pre-election period. The opposition MPs introduced the counter-arguments of the facts and put accuracy of the information by the Ministry under doubt. Some opposition MPs made the political statements about resignation of the Minister. “It is your gross mistake due to the lack of practice. Now, you shall resign”, - Roman Gotsiridze noted.
Majority MPs considered political statements as unacceptable.
"I would like to apologize to the family members. It is hard to tolerate. Ia Kerzaia has gone and the sitting is attended by her son. We shall not make the sitting into the performance. Please, understand the gravity of the situation making her son attending the sitting. I call on you to abstain from the show”, - Beka Odisharia stated.
“Only some of the opposition MPs have the moral right to speak about this issue. You have no right because you don’t remember and even did not apologize for the fact when you made the mother of your colleague, Zakaria Kutsnashvili from the school with the save political motive. You changed the law prior to the trial against this person. As to the Committee hearing, is there anyone believing that if we delegate presidency of the Committee to the opposition MP, the opposition would hold the hearing on such facts. No, they would not. This hall, when I was in the Public Defender Office and had the reports on gross violations, was empty”, - Archil Talakvadze noted.
It is the moral responsibility of the Minister attending the Committee hearing. “It is his moral responsibility to attend the sitting and hear us. He answers the questions where there are answers but we shall find the answers there are not any”, - he noted.
The son of Ia Kerzaia, Bachana Shengelaia was emotional in his address and spoke about his version appealing to the Prosecutor’s Office for investigation.
The Chair of the Committee, Mariam Jashi summed up the sitting: “We at maximal extent tried to clarify this case in Zugdidi School N6. The Minister provided the information available and answered the questions. Being the Chair and MP, I believe that now we are to make further steps which in system term, create the barriers and prevent political speculations”. It is expedient to establish the moratorium to exclude inspections in pre-election period. “I appeal to my colleagues to revise the HR policy and inspection system to achieve the goal which unifies us and implies protection of education from politics”.