The Russian-backed authorities in Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia will abolish the Georgian language schooling in the region’s ethnic Georgian populated areas beginning from the 2017/2018 academic year.
On July 26, the region’s ‘deputy minister of education’ Eliso Gagloeva said that “the ministry of education has done preparatory work this year for transferring the Georgian schools of the republic [of South Ossetia] to the state educational standard.”
“This means that the Russian and the Ossetian language components have been significantly strengthened in the curriculum and that all subjects [from now on] will be taught in Russian,” Gagloeva also noted, adding that the change concerns Georgian schools in Akhalgori Municipality (six schools), as well as one school each in the occupied portions of Sachkhere (village Sinaguri) and Kareli Municipalities (village Akhalsheni).*
As a result of the change, the Georgian language will be reduced to a single subject.
On June 9, the new South Ossetian leader Anatoly Bibilov visited Akhalgori Municipality, where he expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that education in some local schools was conducted in the Georgian language and tasked his officials with transferring the schools to the same educational system as in the rest of the region.
The move follows the pattern established in the Gali District in Abkhazia, where 31 Georgian schools remaining after the war of 1992-1993 were gradually moved to Russian-language schooling. The last 11 Georgian schools in the Gali District were abolished in 2015.
* The areas were under the jurisdiction of the central government before the 2008 Russo-Georgian War.