1849 – 1932
Anastasia Tumanishili-Tsereteli got acquainted with the European system of education in Switzerland and France; translated a number of publications concerning issues of child upbringing, pedagogic and library sciences.
In 1872, she spearheaded a women’s circle which pursued the aim of promoting women on the public arena and was engaged in translating activity.
From 1881 to 1884, Anastasia Tumanishili-Tsereteli cooperated with the newspapers Droeba and Iveria, publishing articles and her literary works – short stories in them.
In 1884, with the assistance of Anastasia Tumanishili-Tsereteli, a school was opened for socially vulnerable families in the village of Kheltubani. In 1886, she founded a Society of Women Teachers, which she chaired during 33 years. The Society built a shelter for elderly female teachers and a primary educational institution for women. She was an active member of the Society for the Spreading of Literacy Among Georgians.
In 1890, under the leadership of Anastasia Tumanishili-Tsereteli, a children’s magazine, Jejili, was founded and she was the editor-in-chief of this magazine. In 1981, she married a famous Georgian writer, Giorgi Tsereteli. Together with her husband, she edited and published the newspaper Kvali over the period between 1893 and 1904.
In 1908, Anastasia Tumanishili-Tsereteli founded the association Ganatleba (Education). A school of this association was the first one which succeeded to fully switch to the education system in the Georgian language. Moreover, during those 15 years of the existence of this association, the first art studio-educational institution and the first Georgian vocational seminary for women were established.
“We all know perfectly well that it is very difficult to found schools here and the literacy may be spread through the delivery of popular books. To this end, we think, it is necessary to have a separate section and this very section must have three aims: 1. the selection and production of popular books; 2. the promotion of our literature; and 3. the spread of world literature. This section must be fully authorized to demand that the publication of the material, which it draws up and selects, not be impeded either by the board because of lack of money or by the administration because of refusing to print it…. In this regard, the sections must be fully authorized to present teachers whilst the board must only approve them. It would be good if the school section pays attention to mobile schools too.”
Small Note (About Special Meeting of Society of
Spreading Literacy among Georgians)
Newspaper Droeba #7, 10 January, 1909
“Bearing in mind that the mentioned magazine was established at the times when terrible reaction dominated Russia and in particular, Georgia, when the politics of Russification was gnawing the heart of school and undermining the main pillar of the generous task of education – the native language, the stepping onto the public arena and the fight against the dark reaction and the Russification politics through founding and heading the Jejili magazine must be viewed as a great heroic act; especially, taking into account that Anastasia Tumanishili-Tsereteli, the head, founder and editor of the magazine, as served this great cause for 30 years now.”
V. Obcheli [Varlam Burjanadze].
The newspaper Amirani #38, 13 October, 1909
“A cultural activity in which women are given preference is very much appreciated abroad among both socialist and other administrations. Here, however, it has become a matter of ridicule. I cannot understand, had Georgia not have such women who with their pen, their writings, have fought against the slavery and strived for the happiness of Georgia? Some of them served with devotion through newspapers and magazines, in order to instill into the future generation the passion for breaking the chains of slavery.
“You must remember that socialist women have also served Georgia, they have also contributed to the freedom of the country, the importance of whom the current administration fails to appreciate”.
Author: Anastasia Tsereteli
Newspaper Sakartvelo #126, 20 October, 1920