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Georgia celebrates 179th Birth Anniversary of Niko Tsxhedadze

January 8, 2024: Georgia celebrates the 179th birth anniversary of Niko Tsxhedadze, one of the Society of Reading and Writing founders among Georgians and a prominent figure in the history of Georgian education and culture.

Niko Tsxhedadze was born on January 8, 1845, in the village of Khashuri, in the Kartli region of Georgia. He studied at the Tbilisi Theological Seminary, where he became acquainted with the ideas of the Georgian national movement and the European Enlightenment. The works of Ilia Chavchavadze, Akaki Tsereteli, and other Georgian writers and thinkers influenced him.

In 1868, he founded the Society of Reading and Writing among Georgians, which aimed to promote literacy, education, and culture among the Georgian people. 

The Society established libraries, schools, and newspapers in various regions of Georgia and organized lectures, debates, and literary evenings. Tsxhedadze was also the editor of the Society’s journal, “The Georgian Word”, which published articles on various topics, such as history, literature, science, and politics.

Tsxhedadze was a passionate advocate of education as the key to the progress and liberation of the Georgian nation. He believed that education could foster the development of critical thinking, civic awareness, and national identity among the Georgian people. 

He wrote: “… The saviour of the people must be education, which can be born gradually in a nutshell, the desire to use the fruit of its labour consciously and carefully, and the spread of education among people can only be through the teachings from which people themselves expect to revive and stand on their feet… “

Tsxhedadze was also a patriot who participated in the anti-Russian protests of 1905 and supported the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Georgia in 1918. He died on June 9, 1922, in Tbilisi, leaving a legacy of educational and cultural achievements.

On this occasion, we remember and honour Niko Tsxhedadze, a Georgian educator and patriot who dedicated his life to the enlightenment and emancipation of his people.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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