Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, Mikheil Batiashvili announced his resignation on November 7, citing “personal reasons.” Speaking at a news briefing today, Batiashvili expressed his hope that the decision will not trigger “additional political speculations.”
In his remarks, Batiashvili said that during his tenure, the ministry had “a lot of unprecedented achievements in the sphere of sports,” as well as “started to carry out reforms in the sphere of culture that should be further intensified, and achieved an important breakthrough in the system of education.”
“This is a huge achievement of the Georgian Dream party; the first time [in Georgian history] it was during the tenure of this government that education has become as one of the main priorities, as an important factor for the development of the country,” Batiahsvili said, noting that all reforms launched in the education system would continue.
The former minister then added that he would work on implementation of “important educational programs” in partnership with international organizations. Batiashvili did not identify his successor today, claiming that the consultations are underway with the Prime Minister Gakharia to unveil the name of the new minister.
Batiashvili’s tenure was marred by the death of Ia Kerzaia, the principal of Public School N6 in Zugdidi, the capital of Western Georgia’s Samegrelo region, who died after being reportedly pressured to join the campaign of ruling party-endorsed candidate Salome Zurabishvili in last year’s presidential polls.
Batiashvili’s resignation comes a day after Bachana Shengelia, son of Ia Kerzaia filed a lawsuit against the Georgian State in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Asked whether his resignation is linked to the lawsuit, Batiashvili responded that he can only welcome this process.