Minorities

Integration of ethnic Azeris starts with language: challenges in quality education and employment

by | February 27, 2018

In Soviet times, the great majority of the population of Georgia spoke Russian, which served as the language of inter-ethnic communication. 66 year old Bayram Abbasov, resident of Telaveri village of Bolnisi district, describes that since Russian was the common language, they had little or no knowledge of Georgian. “We did not feel disenfranchised if we did not know Georgian. Education at our school was provided only in Russian. Our teachers did not speak Georgian. As a result, we did not receive adequate Georgian language educational opportunities. After independence, Georgian became the only official language and Russian is no longer accepted for communication. The decline of Russian as the language of communication and poor command of the Georgian language has been a severe obstacle to quality education, employability and thereby our integration into the Georgian society.” A number of development challenges caused by the lack of knowledge of Georgian are pervasive in the today’s Georgian society. This is especially true for the Azeri communities living compactly in areas bordering their kin-states, with which they have closer ties than with the rest ...

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