From where I stand: “Education is the right and prosperous choice”

Date: Friday, September 8, 2017

Aishan Gizbasova
Aishan Gizbasova; Photo: Liberali

My mother was unable to continue her undergraduate studies after the second year; this is why she was always concerned about my education. My parents have supported me since childhood: they did not let the environment prevent me from getting an education.

After finishing school, I completed a one-year programme for ethnic minorities. I learned the Georgian language and entered Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. I graduated from the faculty of humanities with a major in oriental studies. However, after graduation I was offered to return to my school and become an assistant teacher of Georgian in the village of Algeti. I wanted to become a translator, but I realized that I could contribute to resolving the problem of education in my village.

The education level is relatively low in the regions settled with ethnic minorities, and in Kvemo Kartli too. One of the reasons is that the students do not speak Georgian well. Another important factor is the mentality of the students and parents, who see no prospects and think that studying is just a waste of time and money. Things are even more complicated in the case of girls: most of them are focused on raising families, not studying, as the only chance to change their lives.

When I was returning as a teacher, I knew that the interest in education was quite low. I started with meeting with parents. To them, I was an exemplary Azerbaijani girl who got higher education and found a job too. I also met with students and talked to them about various topics, like the rights of women and children. At the same time, I got involved in education promotion programmes. I took high school students on an educational trip under the project of the Civil Development Institute, where they got information about university faculties. I also met with student girls at the high school in Kvemo Kartli under the project of the Women’s Fund, and we discussed education prospects.

Girls can build their future through education and choose their way of life without the involvement of families and communities. This is what I told the girls during our meetings. I show them how education has changed my life and tell them that education is the right and prosperous choice.

Now I cannot imagine myself in another capacity. I have many plans at school, including working more intensively with high school students to promote education and prevent early marriages and school dropouts as much as I can.

Aishan Gizbasova, 25, is an assistant teacher of Georgian at Public School No. 2 in the village of Algeti, Kvemo Kartli region, which is populated with ethnic Azerbaijanis. She is a trainer and a facilitator at the Teacher’s House. She is also involved in projects aimed at promoting education. Aishan’s activities are focused on and support the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4, which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.