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Language for Javakhkians2010-04-19 19:15
National minorities in Georgia will soon find themselves in a still harder language situation. Now they are making themselves familiar with Georgian and soon they will be forced to learn English, moreover, with foreign teachers who also hardly speak Georgian. Javakhkian Armenians suggest an original way out: to send graduates of Erevan universities to the region populated by Armenians, or, still better, some representatives of Armenian diasporas in English-speaking countries. Though they do not count much on Tbilisi's approval.
The Georgian authorities have dedicated themselves to implementing the English language in their country. Foreign teachers are to be paid twice more than local ones. The Ministry of Education promised to pay 500 lari a month to one thousand teachers from abroad.
The Free Trade Union of Teachers and Researchers have already expressed their discontent with this «discriminatory» proposal. According to the Chairman of the Trade Union Manana Gurchumelidze, it is inadmissible that an English teacher who came from abroad would receive 500 lari while his or her Georgian colleague just 200.
In her words, the 200 Georgian schools badly lack English teachers in general. «If the invited volunteer teachers work there, it is not bad. Though even for 500 lari our teachers refuse to go to high-mountain areas, either», noted Gurchumelidze.
The innovation will put the national minorities into an even more difficult situation. The biggest problem of the Armenian- and Azerbaijanian-speaking areas still remains their bad knowledge of the state language. And if foreign teachers who learnt Georgian from manuals come to them, how will their Armenian-language students be able to acquire the knowledge of English? The incomprehension barrier is rather likely to leave a big gap in the mind of young Javakhkians instead of knowledge.
In this situation the Javakhkian diaspora of Russia has suggested that the Armenian Ministry of Education should send their own English teachers to the Georgian area. The Georgian mass media have already called this proposal «another surge of chauvinism».