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Education rights of Georgians in de-facto regions violated

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Thursday, August 11
The United National Movement (UNM) opposition party calls on the government to ensure the supply of textbooks approved for students living in the occupied territories of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali.

Members of the UNM Sergo Ratiani and Mariam Raminashvili held a briefing on the issue yesterday.

"The students’ access to Georgian education in Abkhazia is still a problem. Currently, none of the Georgian schools are operating in the region. In this difficult situation, last year the Government failed to provide Georgian textbooks for students living in the occupied territories. Accordingly, the students in the educational process were using only books approved by the Russian Federation's Ministry of Education,” stated Ratiani.

The UNM state that they demand that the Government to start immediate working with international organizations in the occupied territories.

“In many parts of the regions, 97 % of pupils and 91 % teachers and school employees are ethnic Georgians, and their native language is Georgian. We should work on the restoration of Georgian language in the schools there,” he added.

In addition, members of the UNM state that all students living in the region should receive the whole package of the necessary set of the textbooks for learning.

“The de-facto Abkhazian government which started reforms in the education field in 2013, removed lessons in Georgian in most of the schools. In 2015, only a few schools were able to teach in the Georgian language,” stated Ratiani.

According to UNM members, before the government changed in 2012, the Georgian side worked hard on solving the problems concerning the issue.

“The current situation, again, indicates that the government does not have a thoughtful approach to the country's principled positions on important issues and adequate action plan,” stated Ratiani.

According to him, in the textbooks, Abkhazia is Georgian territory and supplying this information to students must be part of Georgian politics.

Meanwhile, the Government says they are doing their best in all available formats to protect the interests of Georgia.

They claim they continually inform the international community over the human rights violations in the de-facto areas, and Russia’s unlawful activities to restrict the Georgian language in the occupied regions.