Kristine Aghalaryan

Why Aren’t Textbooks Sent From Armenia Reaching Schools in Javakhk?

When Hetq asked officials at the diaspora ministry why textbooks sent from Armenia weren’t reaching Armenian schools in Javakhk, where a large Armenian community exists right over the border in Georgia, we were told that samples first had to be examined and approved by the Georgian education ministry.

“Employees at Georgia’s Ministry of Education and Science have been given one copy each of all materials destined for Javakhk. Soon, once we receive approval of a final list, they will be sent to Tbilisi,” said diaspora deputy minister Serzh Srapionyan.

The textbook issue hit the pages of the press after teachers at Javakhk Armenian schools said they hadn’t received material sent from Armenia. The press then chimes in that the books were being held up at the Georgian border.

Right now, textbooks used at Armenian language schools in Georgia are prepared and published by the Georgian education ministry. Most of the texts are bilingual.

As for the books sent from Armenia, according to the agreement signed between the education ministries of both countries a list of what is needed at the Armenian language schools is forwarded to the Armenian Embassy in Tbilisi which then passes it on to the Armenian diaspora ministry.

The ministry has reviewed this list and is planning to send forty textbooks and other materials to each of the Javakhk schools.

But the Georgian Ministry of Education and Science must first approve the material before it can be used as supplementary teaching aids.

Deputy Minister Srapionyan says that a delegation from the ministry also paid a visit to the Georgian education ministry to resolve the matter.

The two sides discussed drafting a new agreement that would deal with all teaching material shipping issues.

Srapionyan told Hetq that news reports alleging that Georgian officials have prevented such shipments are false. Nevertheless he wasn’t able to explain why books sent from Armenia for the 2014-2015 school year haven’t yet reached Javakhk.