On 24, 25 and 26 October 2016, the Council of Europe, in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia (MoES) and the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (MRDI), organised nine information and promotional meetings on minority language education in Dmanisi, Tetritskaro, Tsalka, Ninotsminda, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi, Dzveli Kanda and Rustavi (with participation of representatives from the Bolnisi, Marneuli and Gardabani municipalities). The events presented new bilingual brochures promoting bilingual education (Georgian-Armenian/Assyrian/Azerbaijani/German/Greek and Russian) and informed representatives of the relevant municipalities, teachers, heads of the regional educational resource centres (under the MoES) and headmasters of the importance of minority language education, supporting the preservation of the native languages, the importance of learning Georgian and the significance of bilingualism.
The brochures are produced in 13 minority languages in collaboration with the MoES. These languages are: Azerbaijani, Assyrian, Abkhazian, Greek, German, Kurmanji/Kurdish, Ossetian, Russian, Armenian, Udi, Ukrainian, Kist/Chechen and Avar.
Apart from the information on a range of issues concerning traditional national minorities in Georgia, the brochures also contain the list of schools teaching these languages and practical information for parents on how to enrol their children in such schools.
After the presentations of the brochures, all participants voiced their support for this publication and signed up for their further distribution to households. The participants also underlined the necessity of publishing new minority languages textbooks.
The meetings took place in the framework of the EU/Council of Europe Joint Programme “Civic Integration of National Minorities in Georgia and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages”. Similar events will be organised in Sagarejo, Signagi, Dedoplistskaro, Lagodekhi, Kvareli, Akhmeta and Telavi.