The Ministry of Education and Science says that the 9th-grade history textbook, which caused dissatisfaction among the public due to an extract about of the events of 2012, “describes historical processes correctly, competently and comprehensively, and does not include an evaluation of those processes.”
As Mariam Chikobava, Deputy Head of the Preschool and General Education Development Department of the Ministry of Education, told Interpressnews, “It’s a bit difficult to say that this is an attempt to rewrite history.”
According to Chikobava, no-one has taken a negative position on the book until now.
The Minister of Finance of Georgia, Lasha Khutsishvili, has the same opinion. He does not consider problematic those aspects which have caused a difference of opinion in society. According to him, the book contains only facts, without assessments.
The criticism applies to part of the textbook that covers the period from 2003 to the present. The subject of controversy is, for example, some passages given during the years of the United National Movement rule and the August 2008 war, as well as a reference to Bidzina Ivanishvili as a “famous philanthropist and patron.”
“What information I have received during these days and what I have read directly in relation to this book, in fact, what I have seen are only factual circumstances and no estimates have been made to any extent.
“There, I just saw biographies of people who were important figures in Georgia over the years, and therefore it is unclear what caused this sudden agitation,” Khutsishvili added.
Among the critics of the textbook is Elene Khoshtaria, leader of the Droa party, who believes that a protest should start in relation to the history textbook “because of the glorification of ruler Bidzina.”
She believes the protest should continue in various forms “until a result is achieved.”
The publisher of the 9th-grade history textbook is Diogene and it has three authors: Nato Akhmeteli, Besik Lortkipanidze and Natia Pirtskhalava.
The publishing house “Diogene” has not yet responded to the critical comments about the book.
By Ana Dumbadze