While for the whole world "GMT" stands for "Greenwich Mean Time" for us, people living in Georgia, it's "Georgian Maybe Time", because we have our own feeling for time!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Unforgettable sweet school years...

It was another ordinary day. Classes were over as me and my other schoolmates were walking out of school. I was stopped by a guy a bit older than me, telling me he wanted to speak about a girl who was my classmate, he took me behind garages in front of our school. Another young fellow was waiting there for us. Pushing me against the wall they said:

"You've got a cell phone, don't you?!"

Here I got disappointed, as plans seemed to be changed and we were not going to discuss girls anymore :(. In addition to my disappointed there was another unpleasant fact. One of them took out a gun and put it against my temple. I don't know why but I smiled, I said:

"Yes I do, but come on guuuys...."

Surprisingly it didn't help. Taking the phone out of my pocket, before handling it to its new caring owner, who would sell it the other day to cover his debt for the game he lost earlier that week, I managed to think of my last wish. I said:

"Hey, can I have my sim card at least?!"

They looked at each other, smiled, and said:

"Yeah, just make it quick"

Cold metal was still touching my temple, pushing it from time to time. After the phone was handled in, guys consulted with each other:

-"Shall I shoot his legs?"
-"No, his cool, lets just leave..."

They ran away. I went out with a big smile on my face and a little sim card in my hand...

This story of mine may not have taken place inside the school building, but trust me there was plenty of violence there as well. Students would carry knives, toilets were used as a place to "discuss issues" that often ended up with fights, cuts, and injures. Cigarettes were in wide use. We would run away from classes to go walk in a amusement park near by. This all was happening because nobody really controlled us and there was no serous punishment for that either. I wouldn't blame all my educational failures on this environment, it's more my laziness, but I believe that all these may have a particular impact on education as well.

Today as a result of reform introduced by Ministry of Education, now there are people called "Mandaturebi" in schools. Young people wearing uniforms and carrying walkie-talkies that are responsible for order in schools.

"Mandaturebi" became a big topic for discussions in society, as some think that they are interfering in teachers rights, others think that now students are stressed, and some think it is very unfair that they have bigger salaries than teachers and so on...

As it is advertised on public TV, as a result of this reform, today there is no smoking in schools at all , students lateness went down by 80%, cheating was reduced by 75%, money extortion was reduced by 95%, fight among students was reduced by 80% and vandalism went down by 90%.

Whatever the statistics is nowadays and whatever critics this innovation causes, I just want people not to forget what it was like before to be going to school, and I think it is very important for parents to know that their children are there safe...

1 comment:

  1. It reminds me the story of one guy who is living in Tbilisi for five years..

    He says:"You know, everyone in Georgia has a knife, even the girls". :-)