Project Description

Edu­ca­tion in Geor­gia

Neli Ansiani, who is a mother of four child­ren, who are all grown um now, mana­ged to pro­vide them high edu­ca­tion, when she still lived in Abkha­zia. She explains, that even though she didn’t have a job back in the days, she affor­ded the costs of edu­ca­tion through sel­ling her agri­cul­tu­ral pro­ducts. — „It wasn’t a pro­blem“, she says. Later on, she became a teacher her­self, and apart from teaching her own child­ren ever­y­thing she knew, when they were young, she then put a lot of effort into teaching other child­ren. — All her kids could later on study in Tbi­lisi, which is not a com­mon (and espe­cially afforda­ble) thing for ever­yone from rural areas.
This is why the edu­ca­tion of their child­ren is so import­ant for the fami­lies in Tsint­s­karo. — The hig­her the degree of edu­ca­tion, the bet­ter are the job option in the future. — Espe­cially being able to sen­ding their child­ren to big­ger cities, to study and find a job there, is an import­ant aspect of what many par­ents are working on, by working as hard as they can, to have the finan­cial means that are necessary, as stu­dy­ing is usually not cost­less in Geor­gia, or requi­res more tui­tion fees than other euro­pean coun­tries.

Nora’s par­ents, who couldn’t afford more edu­ca­tion than her accoun­ting stu­dies, made her move to Suk­humi after that. As she was the oldest child in the family, it was her obli­ga­tion, so finan­ci­ally sup­port the family. — Her sis­ters left the val­ley after their edu­ca­tio­nal trai­ning, as well, and due to the lack of employ­ment oppor­tu­nities; they con­ti­nued stu­dy­ing and star­ted working in Suk­humi, as well. — Toge­ther with Nora, they moved into a shared flat in a nearby vil­lage.

Atten­ding stu­dies at a state uni­ver­sity costs about 2250 Lari (about 870€/980$) a year, which means about 188 Lari (about 72€/80$) a month, which is way more than the amount that stu­dents in Ger­many have to pay, while at the same time, the aver­age Geor­gian family has to live with way less money than a Ger­man one. — All fur­ther costs for books etc. are not inclu­ded.
This is why scho­lar­ships are very import­ant for Geor­gian stu­dent. The monthly about of finan­cial sup­port from the state depends on the gra­des, achie­ved in natio­nal exams; the bet­ter the gra­des, the hig­her the finan­cial sup­port. — Never­the­l­ess, only 20% of the stu­dents in the coun­try get finan­cial sup­port at all and only 5% get the full amount for their stu­dies.

For Marina Tabu­kash­vili, the direc­tor of the Taso Foun­da­tion, who is eager to pro­vide edu­ca­tion and use her skills to help and sup­port people in need, the only place to use know­ledge and edu­ca­tion is the city, as there is a lot of unem­ploy­ment in the rural areas, which is why so many young people leave their remote home­towns to study and work in big­ger cities.

The Choir

When I invi­ted a music teacher to come to our school twice a week, to teach child­ren tra­di­tio­nal Geor­gian music, we fea­red that no one would show up at the first les­son“, Nora says. „Ins­tead, the whole school child­ren came. Ever­yone wan­ted to be in the group; the child­ren were so eager“, she explains. Finally, after audi­tions and going through all the app­li­cants, the cho­sen child­ren sang for the very first time in front of their par­ents. „From the moment they star­ted sin­ging, we held our bre­ath and didn’t exhale until the song ended. In the end, we were all crying. They weren’t per­fect, of course, but that wasn’t import­ant any­way. It was the spi­rit that got us”, Nora expres­ses emo­tio­nally. — Being able to take sin­ging les­sons was not a cer­tain thing for the child­ren of Tsint­s­karo; here as well, Taso Foun­da­tion was play­ing an import­ant role, as they were the ones giving grants. „The music group star­ted from giving the grant from the Taso Foun­da­tion side“, Nino explains. The orga­niza­t­ion gave the grants to afford the les­sons and buy­ing the musi­cal instru­ments.

The child­ren do not only prac­ticing their sin­ging to pre­sent small con­certs in the vil­lage, „they are per­for­ming in dif­fe­rent parts of the region and some­ti­mes they are play­ing on fes­ti­vals“, Nino decla­res. They choir is basi­cally play­ing the tra­di­tio­nal Geor­gian folk music, which is sup­porting the natio­nal spi­rit, so when we first arri­ved in Tsint­s­karo, the child­ren wel­co­med us by orga­ni­zing a con­cert at the com­mu­nity cen­ter in the eve­ning.
They sang the songs we alre­ady lis­ted to during their sin­ging clas­ses when we visi­ted the school, right after our arri­val on the very first day of our first visit of the vil­lage. The child­ren sang until they got hoarse and dan­ced for hours until their feet hurt until the night, accen­tua­ted by the sining teacher play­ing the tra­di­tio­nal Geor­gian instru­ment cal­led „Gudast­viri“, which is some kind of bag­pipe, made out of eit­her roan (sheep-lea­ther) or goats­kin. When it was dark, a bon­fire was lit and the kids con­ti­nued out­s­ide at the fire­place, not just sin­ging, but also play­ing gui­tar.

Dan­cing and sin­ging in the com­mu­nity cen­ter.


Wrest­ling is one of the most well know natio­nal sports in Geor­gia, and beco­m­ing a pro­fes­sio­nal wrest­ler is worth aspi­ring to for many young boys and male teen­agers in Tsint­s­karo. While phy­si­cal edu­ca­tion is not very com­mon in regu­lar schools in Geor­gia, the sport is one of the things that many Geor­gi­ans are proud of, because of the great suc­cess of several Geor­gian wrest­lers. — This is why the boys and teen­agers are trai­ning really hard.
The first time we got to know about the fasci­na­tion for wrest­ling was, when we first ent­e­red the school buil­ding. In one of the hall­ways we saw huge pos­ter with a pic­ture of a sports­man and so we found out about it. — The man on the pos­ter is Luk­humi Chkhv­imiani, a Geor­gian wrest­ling cham­pion in Judo (Tbi­lisi; among adults); he is a Euro­pean cam­pion in the Soviet mar­tial art samba (Cyprus; among youth), as well as a meda­list in judo (Slove­nia; among youth).

The wrest­ling trai­ners and the boys in the gym.

The boys and teen­agers are trai­ning really hard, several times a week at the school-gym, wich is loca­ted in a second buil­ding right behind the left side of the school. We ent­e­red the gym, acces­si­ble by/through a steep rusty metal-stair­case on the side of the buil­ding, up on the second floor of the buil­ding; the boys were in the middle of their trai­ning. — The wrest­ling teacher Murad Gur­chiani (and bro­ther of Nora) gree­ted us when we ent­e­red, and told the child­ren to run a few rounds around the gym.

Wrest­ling is a extra­cur­ri­cu­lar activity, just like the sin­ging les­sons, and some of the boys are alre­ady suc­cess­ful and bring home medals from regio­nal cham­pi­ons­hips, Murad Gur­chiani explains. — Murad Gur­chiani him­self used to be a suc­cess­ful wrest­ler when he was youn­ger until he had to go to war in the early 90’s. — Right now, two of the sports­men are under spe­cial moni­to­ring, which are Luka (11) and Levani (18); these two are the sons of Murad Gur­chiani, and he expres­ses exten­si­vely how proud he is of the suc­cess his two sons are making; espe­cially his youn­ger one.

Wrest­ling Trai­ning.

Murad Gur­chiani about his work as a wrest­ling trai­ner.