Ankvab to Abolish Order Barring Abkhaz Kids from Attending Non-Abkhaz Schools

Occupied Abkhazia’s prime minister Alexander Ankvab said that he will today abolish education minister Inal Gablia’s order, which envisaged barring first-grade ethnic Abkhaz kids from attending non-Abkhaz schools.

Ankvab told Apsnypress media outlet on August 24 that the prohibition infringes on the constitutional rights.

Earlier, Abkhaz media cited the education ministry’s press office as saying that minister Gablia’s August 19 order aimed at raising the status and knowledge of Abkhaz language, as well as unloading overcharged Russian-language schools amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking of pandemic context, the ministry’s press service recalled that order by region’s chief sanitation officer limits the number of students per classroom at 20.

Noteworthy that Gablia’s order did not bar children other than ethnic Abkhaz from attending any schools of the region.

Noteworthy, that Kremlin-backed Abkhaz authorities have successfully eliminated Georgian-language schooling in predominantly Georgian Gali district.

According to Georgia’s Reconciliation Ministry, there were 58 schools in Gali district before the 1990s, among them 52 were Georgian, two Russian, three Georgian-Russian, and one Georgian-Abkhaz. 31 Georgian schools remaining after the war of 1992-1993 were gradually moved to Russian-language schooling in Gali district. The last 11 Georgian schools were also abolished in 2015.

According to statistical data available in Sokhumi, as of January 2020, the region’s population stood at 245,424, of which the Abkhaz make the largest group with 125, 974 (51%), followed by Georgians (including Megrelians) with 46, 905 (19 %), Armenians – 41, 870 (17%), Russians – 22, 468 (9%).

Prior to 1992-93 war and the ethnic cleansing of Georgians in the region, in 1989 the region’s population stood at 525 thousand, of which Georgians made the largest ethnic group with 239,872 (45,7%), followed by Abkhaz – 93,267 (17,8%), Armenians – 76,541 (14,6%) and Russians – 74,913 (14,3%).

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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