Peace Media education at Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess in Tbilisi, Georgia on June 7th was hosted by an international peace NGO called Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in cooperation with Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess. Cervantes Gymnasium AiaGess and HWPL have been builing their partnership peace education and peace camp.
Mr. Avtandil Otinashvili, the Chief-in-Editor of Newsday Georgia gave a lecture to the students in regard to “Peace Journalism”. As it was a participation-based lecture to learn the subjects of “Media Literacy” and “Peace Journalism”, the students got involved with giving presentations of their thoughts regarding the articles given. Ms. Tamar Lolishvili from Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess said, “Broadcasting news prepared by the students can help reaching people in different areas, even with different languages more easily that will be a model example for our young generation.”
As a global project for peacebuilding with a network of educators, peace education by HWPL has been conducted in collaboration with 214 education institutions in 23 countries. To further nurture students and citizens with the value of peace such as coexistence and respect, peace education at a national level has also been sought by national governments in 7 countries including Guatemala, Iraq, the Philippines, and Cambodia.
Views on the reform of the educational system, the necessity of youth engagement in the country’s ongoing processes, and the importance of human capital development were discussed by Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze during today’s meeting with Georgian students studying in New York.
The students familiarized themselves with the views of the Head of Government on the changes planned at every stage of the system of education, involving the introduction of innovative approaches.
The Prime Minister underlined the importance of the maximal engagement of youth, emphasizing that he welcomes their every idea and active participation in every process related to the reform’s successful implementation and the country’s development.
According to Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Government’s goal is to create in the country an environment enabling youth to make full use of their potential and abilities. The meeting with the Prime Minister was attended by 17 bachelor’s and master’s degree program students, including through financing from the International Education Center of Georgia.
Prime Minister's Press Office
Instructors and students from Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess, Georgia visited the Republic of Korea between the 14th and 23rd of February to systematically learn about HWPL peace education through a peace camp and experience Korean culture.
The peace camp taught them how the core values of promoting peace from HWPL peace education can be applied in their daily lives. One of the programs implanted in them the heart to cooperate, love, and express gratitude, through which they realized that each one of them should become a messenger to bring peace, which is not far from them.
Students from Georgia actively interacted and exchanged culture of Korea. Through the peace education, they have become able to accept differences among people as well as recognize each other as global citizens who ought to live in harmony which were the key elements to end conflicts and disputes.
The students also took time to truly discover the values of peace by listening to the explanation of HWPL’s Peace Education. Also, during the time of learning about “mutual cooperation” they were divided into teams and had the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports that required cooperation. In particular, they were able to directly experience the importance of unity through a traditional Korean cultural activity that is similar to tug-of-war. One student in the class emphasized the importance of cooperation by stating, “Today’s activity taught us how to love one another, have respect for each other and become one.”
Another field trip took place in the Yongsan War Memorial of Korea. While Georgian students indirectly experienced the brutality of war through the history of the Korean War, Korean students could also share mutual empathy for the tragedy of war with Georgian students after learning about the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.
“I imagined one of our students, the smallest boy who is fourteen-years-old. When I imagined him in the war, it was so hurtful for me,” said Mairam Lomauridze, who wanted to share with her peers the true meaning of peace and the heart for peace she felt at the camp after she went back to Georgia.
Food also brought them together. The Georgian and Korean students cooked and shared both the Georgian traditional dessert, Churchkhela, and the Korean traditional food, Bibimbap. They also expressed their grateful heart for their parents and teachers by making carnations at the session.
On the last day of the camp, a ‘Mini WARP’ was organized, modeled after the WARP Summit which takes place every September with the leaders of each sector of society hosted by HWPL. Performances choreographed to express the sincere heart for a peaceful world without war deeply touched the Georgian students. They took solidarity in working together in the hope of bringing about world peace when they go back home.
Rusudan Bolkvadze, Director of Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess and instructors including Darejan Lordqipanidze and Tamar Lolishvili were designated as peace education instructors who could actively implement HWPL peace education. Tamar Lolishvili, English teacher of Cervantes Gymnasium Aia-Gess, who has closely communicated with HWPL, highlighted the importance of peace education, “We must teach our students to take care of the world. They can’t do anything without knowledge. I am against wars...against fights. The best tool in this case is education.”
The instructors also promised to teach their students to become peace messengers through special lectures in Georgia. Students promised to take the responsibility of spreading and teaching the core values of HWPL peace education, such as understanding, respect and cooperation, to other student organizations.
After they returned, instructors and students continued teaching the core values of peace based on HWPL peace education curriculums.
Within NATO week, Chair of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili held the meeting with students from various Universities. He introduced the main directions of Committee activity, functions and oversight mechanisms thereof. He spoke about the recently developed and adopted drafts and emphasized measures for defense capacity of the country. I. Sesiashvili elucidated the Committee approaches to the new reserve concept and conscription rules.
The students asked about domestic and foreign security challenges, cyber-attack prevention, state policy on occupied territories and Georgian contribution in international peace-keeping missions. I. Sesiashvili answered the questions.
In the end, the students were cognizant with the main directions and structure of NATO PA. As noted, hosting NATO PA Spring Session on May 26-29 in Georgia is an example of success of the country and recognition thereof at the international level.
The Member of the State Constitutional Commission, Mr. Zaza Gabunia hosted the students and considered the Constitutional Changes.
Z. Gabunia: “We have the Constitutional Changes ahead. Our task is to conduct the process so to result in the Constitution formulated with the sign of enhancement of democracy to endure for years. Active participation of the society in this process is our priority. Opinion of youth is important. Youth has the greatest potential and talent that can be used in favor of the country and I always wanted to know their opinion”. The students had the opportunity to express their opinions about various provisions of the Constitution.
Due to the government order, The Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia will fund the tuition fund for the students residing in the divisor villages. The current 2016-2017 academic year, the Ministry of Education and Science has funded approximately 800 students, according to the information provided by the local municipalities.
The support of the students in the occupied territories is carried out due to the directive of Georgian government across the divisor boarder. Additionally, the government funds the students who are already registered in the accredited higher educational institutions and are enrolled in the Bachelor’s, Master’s degree programs, as well as certified medical courses.
The program’s target group are the students who got repressed due to the Russian occupational troops dispatched in the Georgian territories, thus oppressing the Georgian divisor boarder between the two countries. Moreover, owing to the Russian aggression, the students are no longer able to continue their studies in the accredited higher educational institutions. It is important to note, that the program is being carried out from the 2013, and aims to support financially the victimized students.
Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of several US cities to protest against the election of Donald Trump. Many shouted the slogan "Not my president". Others burned orange-haired effigies of the businessman.
Mr Trump will become the 45th US president after securing a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton. He is due to meet current White House incumbent Barack Obama for talks aimed at ensuring a smooth transition.
Mr Obama - who had branded Mr Trump "unfit" for office and campaigned against him - urged all Americans to accept the result of Tuesday's election. "We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country," he said. Defeated Mrs Clinton also told supporters Mr Trump had to be given a "chance to lead".
The Prime Minister congratulated ethnic Azerbaijani students on the holiday of Novruz Bayram. The meeting with students was conducted at the Mirza Akhundov Azerbaijani Culture Center met.
"We are pleased to have young people like these. We shall try to maximize involvement of our ethnic Azerbaijani citizens in development of the country. We have very exciting development plans. Nevertheless, without your active involvement, these plans cannot be implemented successfully. "- Giorgi Kvirikashvili stressed.
Prime Minister elaborated on the education system reform and the 4-pillar reform agenda of the government. The meeting carried character of an question-and-answer session. Students demonstrated interest towards education, economy, healtcare and Qvemo Qartli regional development plan. The minister of education Tamar Sanikidze,Prime Minister's Assistant on ethnic minority issues Savalan Mirzoev and the Qvemo Qartli governor Paata Khizanashvili attended the meeting.
The representatives of student self-government are trying to break into the office of the rector of the University Lado Papava. The violence had been erupted in this process, due to the clashed, the security officer became ill. He was trying to stabilize the situation.
The students are at Papava’s office now.
On 9 March 2016, 18:00, at Rustaveli National Theatre in Tbilisi, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia and Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia will jointly present the students’ essay contest and gender equality campaign #MyRustaveli. The initiative celebrates 850th anniversary of the iconic Georgian poet – Shota Rustaveli and once again draws public attention to the timeless values of humanity and equality.
Niels Scott, Head of the United Nations in Georgia; Tamar Sanikidze, Minister of Education and Science of Georgia, Mikheil Giorgadze, Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, and representative of the Embassy of Sweden to Georgia – Helena Sancho, will address participants and guests with opening remarks.
The event will also see the recital of selected verses from Shota Rustaveli’s epic “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin” performed by the actors of the Rustaveli National Theatre. Ketevan Makharashvili of UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality in Georgia will speak about the students’ contest and a year-long gender equality campaign which will be ongoing till the end of 2016.
The initiative is part of the Gender Equality Week 2016 which traditionally celebrates International Women’s Day in Georgia.