Georgian Language – Pathway to Higher Education
Georgia is a multicultural country. 86.6% of population is represented by Georgians, 6.3% - by ethnic Azerbaijanis, 4.5% is formed by Armenians. State language proficiency level remanis low among 7% of population, represented mainly by Azerbaijanis and Armenians.
Due to the language policy of Soviet Union, during 80s, Russian served as a vehicular language between Georgians and other ethnic groups. The Soviet legacy still remains as a hindering factor affecting civic integration. The young generation is aware of the importance of learning state language and tries to learn or improve Georgian language skills. The quality of education at minority schools of Georgia is lower than the average. Important part of non-Georgian teachers do not know the state language sufficiently well that makes difficult for students to learn Georgian. This situation leads to the fact that young representatives of minority groups do not have access to quality education and, further, the difficulty to continue studying at higher education institutions. Despite existing obstacles, part of the young people pursues their studies at university level.
Arzu Bairamova is a student at Ilia State University. She thinks that the main attribute to her succes was the knowledge of Georgian language. For her, it is not possible to love the country and not to learn the language. “If you love your homeland, you should also love the language of your homeland. The state and the language cannot be separated.” – Arzu says. She was born and grew up in Georgia and believes that her love for her country is no less than the love of Georgians born in Georgia. “I am not ethnic Georgian, I am a citizen of my country – Georgia, with Azerbaijani ethnic background. Nothing differs my love and the love of ethnic Georgians for my homeland”.
It is of high importance that the state and the society support and promote the increased interest of representatives of ethnic minority groups in learning Georgian language, having access to a quality education and being involved in the development of society.
22 November, 2018