Access to education in the native language in Gali and Akhalgori districts
The right to education is a fundamental human right and implies ensuring both physical and economic access to education. One of the determinants of the accessibility of the right to education is the possibility of receiving education in one’s native language. Although the European Convention on Human Rights does not specify the language in which education must be conducted, the right to education would be meaningless if it did not imply, in favour of its beneficiaries, the right to be educated in the national language.

The right to receive education in the native language is extremely restricted for Georgians living in the occupied territories of Georgia. It is virtually a part of the political agenda followed by the de facto regimes of the occupied territories. This practice is systemic and manifested in actions such as the express prohibition of receiving education in the Georgian language, persistent harassment of Georgian-language teachers at their workplace, banning Georgian handbooks from curricula and preventing Georgian university entrants from continuing their studies in higher education institutions of Georgia through imposing direct restrictions on their movement or exerting other direct or indirect pressure. While the process of russification had started in Gali District long ago, the restriction of studies in the Georgian language in Akhalgori became particularly relevant in the reporting period.

The Government of Georgia decided to allow university entrants from the occupied territories to be enrolled in the universities of their choice without taking the Uniform National Examinations and have their study funded by the state to a maximum degree. The number of entrants from the occupied territories has doubled in the last year and the number of registrations exceeded 360 this year.

Access to education in the native language in Gali and Akhalgori districts