TBILISI, DFWatch–Due to the closure of the Enguri checkpoint, students from breakaway Abkhazia’s Gali district are unable pass their exams, which may result in their expulsion from the university.

The problems come on the heel of a quarantine declared in early January by Georgia’s two breakaway republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia in order to prevent the spread of the influenza virus H1N1 from Georgia proper.

At least 20 students are now at risk of failing their exams because of the quarantine, according to information available to DFWatch based on multiple interviews with residents of the town Gali and its vicinity, and area predominantly populated by ethnic Georgians.

An MB student at a university in Tbilisi said that despite many attempts, she wasn’t allowed to crossing the ‘border’.

“I visited my family [in Gali] for the New Year holidays when the border was closed,” she said. “Winter [exams] have already begun in my university, but I can’t attend. The other students who failed to cross the ‘border’ before the closure are facing the same problem.”

The vast majority of Gali youth opt to study at universities in Tbilisi or other places in Georgia proper. Most of the higher educational institutions in Georgia have exams in January and June. Failing to pass the exams may result in fines or even expulsion.

Most of the stranded students have already asked their universities to take into account their troubles.