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‘Learn Georgian’ Program start in Tbilisi

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, February 3
A presidential program, Learn Georgian, has been expanded and from now on will take place in Tbilisi as well as Georgia’s regions with ethnic minority populations.

Initially, the project was launched in 2015 by Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University with the support of the President's Reserve Fund.

The initiative aims at teaching Georgian to ethnic minorities in order to ensure their integration with society.

The project covers around 5000 representatives of ethnic minorities in 75 villages of Georgia, mainly inhabited by Armenian and Azeri-speaking populations.

The President’s Advisor for Minority Issues, Sophio Shamanidi, says that one of the main problems facing ethnic minorities living in Georgia is their integration into Georgian society. In order to ensure their integration, she says, they should know the Georgian language.

A new textbook was prepared for the new phase of the presidential program, and includes the Georgian language training course as well as the excerpts from the Constitution.

“Knowing the state language is not enough for the integration of national minorities. The President believes that ethnic minorities should study their rights within the new phase of the presidential program. The rights are best described in the most important document of the country, the Constitution. This means they will study the theses of the Constitution of Georgia,” Shamanidi noted.

In Tbilisi, the initiator of the program is Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Friendship House. The course in Tbilisi lasts for three months.

The Coordinator of the Coordinating Council of National Minorities, Margalita Khidirbegishvili, says that the three-month courses are universal and available to all, but they catered towards national minorities and help them to overcome the language barrier.

Tbilisi State University professors will teach the program participants and graduates will receive special certificates.