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Georgian history in schools might be removed in de-facto region

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, August 7
The history of Georgia might be removed from a teaching programme in one of the Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia. The Osinform states that the students living in the de-facto region will have to study the “history of South Ossetia” instead. Currently there are 11 schools in Akhalgori, six among them are Georgian.

Akhalgori remained under Georgian jurisdiction after most of South Ossetia broke away from the central government's control during the 1991-1992 South Ossetia war. However, owing to the August War in 2008, the town and the whole South Ossetian region are being controlled by Russians.

Before the conflict, the Akhalgori district had a population of 7,700, with approximately 2,000 living in the town itself. The population was primarily Georgian (6,520) and Ossetian (1,110) with good relations with one another.

The Osinform reads that one of the main reasons of the charge is related to the War of 2008. According to Marina Chibirova, head of de-fact South Ossetia’s Minister of Education, Georgian history provides incorrect facts about the war and justifies the actions of the Georgian government.

The teachers of Akhalgori schools have been informed over this issue. However, they state that the issue was just being discussed without any real solution.

One of the teachers Mzia Psuturi says that certain chapters of Georgian history were discussed.

“The chapters were mainly related to Russia's role. The South Ossetian de-facto administration was not happy with the topics where Russians were named as occupants,” Psuturi states. She admits that no official information over the above mentioned change has been provided yet.

Georgians living in the occupied region are against the change.

Soso Tsotniashvili, head of South Ossetia’s Education Service says that the de-facto administration spoke about such a step long before.

“Schools are not informed and the wish has not been fulfilled yet,” Tsotniashvili said.

The issue will be one of the top matters for the Geneva Talks.

Georgia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Davit Zalkaliani said the Georgian side provided the Geneva Talks’ participants with information about the current situation in South Ossetia.

"At the next round of the Geneva Talks, which will probably take place in September, this topic as well as the ethnical discrimination of Georgians in Abkhazia [Georgia’s other breakaway region] will be discussed,” Zalkaliani said.