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Armenian Education & Science Minister surprised at Javakhk Armenians

14:16, 16.10.2010 Region: Armenia, Georgia Theme: Society

“I cannot understand the Armenians from Javakhk that settled down in Armenia, changed their passports and are speaking of demographic problems in and mass emigration from Javakhk,” RA Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotyan stated at a press conference held jointly with his Georgian counterpart Dmitry Shashkin in Yerevan.

He stressed that, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, conditions are being created to reduce emigration from Javakhk by introducing in-depth study of the Georgian language in Armenian schools in Javakhk to enable Armenian young people to fully integrate into Georgian society, without emigrating to other countries.

Minister Dmitry Shashkin reported that an unprecedented decision was made during entrance examinations at Georgian higher schools, namely, allowing Armenians residing in Georgia to enter higher schools on the basis of one examination in the Armenian language. That is Armenian entrants were freed from the Georgian language examination, which is compulsory for the country’s citizens. “Two hundred Armenians entered Georgian higher schools on this basis. Their education is financed from the state budget. They will thoroughly study the Georgian language as well to fully integrate into Georgian society,” Shashkin said.

Minister Ashotyan pointed out a serious problem in Javakhk, which has nothing to do with Georgia’s education policy. “The point is that Javakhk Armenians themselves avoid sending their children to Armenian-language schools - they prefer Russian-language ones. For example, three Armenian and one Russian school are operating in Akhaltsikh. Nine hundred students attend the three Armenian schools, whereas 800, mostly Armenians, attend one Russian school,” Ashotyan said. He stressed that the Javakhk Armenians do not seek integration into Georgian society. Rather, they prepare their children for emigration to Russia. Georgia is in the only state of the world with government-financed Armenian schools.

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