Vahe Sarukhanyan

No "Legal" Armenian Schools in Georgia, Claims Javakhk Armenian Rep

Davit Rstakyan, President of the "Virk" party in Georgia stated today at a press conference that schools teaching in the languages of national minorities in the country do not operate de-jure but de-facto.

He then cites the example of Armenian language schools in Javakhk as de-facto operating schools.

Rstakyan said that a person could sue a teacher for teaching geography in Armenian and ultimately win the case in the courts.

He labelled the situation as "catastrophic" and argues that those who claim that Armenian schools in Georgia exist and stating falsehoods.

When asked why Armenians in Georgia don't want to study Georgian, given that knowledge of the language would help alleviate a number of problems they face otherwise, Nork Karapetyan, who heads the "Javakhk Democratic Movement", responded that Armenians feared losing their language.

"We are primarily concerned with preserving Armenian and only then learning Georgian. A few years ago a Georgian institute opened in Kutais and many Armenian youth enrolled. After studying Georgian for 4 years they returned to Javakh but only 1% have jobs today. In other words, it's all a smokescreen."

The speakers agreed that Armenia was more active in Javakhk in the past than today.

"In recent years, Armenia has regarded us more as a part of the diaspora, but we aren't," argued Rstakyan.