According to the Ministry of Education and Science, the 9th grade history textbook of Georgia, which caused dissatisfaction among the public due to the extract about of the events of 2012, "describes historical processes correctly, competently and comprehensively and does not include part of evaluation of 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 so far.
"According to the previous national curriculum, the history of Georgia was taught only in the 9th grade. Now, there is a change in the history textbook regarding the teaching of Georgian history, and history as an independent subject is taught in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades - from ancient times to the modern period. The history of Georgia is unfolded in the context of world history, that is, in parallel, what events took place. Accordingly, the most recent period gos to 9th grade and is an attempt to reflect the most recent years, including information on all state rulers during the period of independence - from the first president to the second president, continued European integration and important events such as the loss of Abkhazia and Samachablo, the period of the August 2008 war, the Russian occupation, etc.
It is an attempt to cover all these important events. We have two approved books that were approved in 2021 and these textbooks entered schools this year. We think these stories are conveyed very dryly and competently in both books. It emphasizes European integration, democratic change of government, visa liberalization, etc. However, this period is very briefly conveyed. The Ministry of Education and Science does not create textbooks by its own.
The standard does not specify what should be included in the textbook, it simply states that all important events in the history of Georgia and the world should be mentioned. That is why these two facts are confirmed - the Association Agreement and the change of government in 2012. I do not think it is right to make a fuss about it. An assessment is made of neither the events of 2012 nor the governance of the previous period. There are just facts. Our students should probably know about these events. It’s a little hard to say that this is an attempt to rewrite history. Specialists will discuss this. Reviewers and evaluators will rate this. As for the factual inaccuracies, if any, any interested person can contact us and the textbooks will be corrected for re-printing. So far no one has sent information about the inaccuracy, which is not strange.
When the manuals are entered on the approval, the information is also made public and can be seen by any interested person. In addition, the evaluation committee includes a representative of the academic community, two current teachers, a national curriculum expert, a psychologist, a philologist, as well as another specialist who checks that the textbook is free from discriminatory language, and maintains a religious and ethnic balance. "There is no ideal paper, there is something in every paper, but this textbook has crossed the 90% threshold that is imposed, it was given recommendations and got the final look as it is", Chikobava said.
According to her, a "survey about satisfaction" may be conducted on the history textbook a year later.
For reference, part of the society is demanding the removal of the 9th grade history textbook from the program. Their claim is related to the subsections related to the August war, the "Rose Revolution" and Bidzina Ivanishvili.
According to part of the society, the book is propagandistic and praises the current government, while the role of the "Rose Revolution" in the country's political processes is diminished and presented in a more negative context.