Rimma Marangozyan, a native from Akhalkalaki, holds a master's degree in journalism from the Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) in Tbilisi.
There were 17 students in Rimma's class. Four of them continued their studies in Tbilisi, one went to Yerevan. Rimma also wanted to go to Yerevan, but her family did not let her. Now she knows Georgian well:
“The preparatory course was easy. I didn't learn much that year, only grammar. I had a very small conversational base, so the first course was very difficult for me. It was a nightmare, I could not understand what the lecturers were talking about. I studied day and night. The second year was relatively easy, and from the third year I no longer needed a dictionary.
Haykanush Karabekyan, 20, is studying linguistics at the Russian-Armenian University in Yerevan. Haykanush graduated from the Russian-language school in Akhalkalaki, so she chose Yerevan, where she studies in the Russian sector: “I also applied to Tbilisi State University, but in the end I chose Yerevan”, said Haykanush
She says that she is already forgetting Georgian a little, which she learned at school: “Now I live mainly in Armenia. If you want to know the language well, you must speak it regularly, you must have communication, which we do not have”.
Now Rosa, Narine and Veronika are faced with a choice:
“My brother studies at Javakhishvili University in Tbilisi. I also want to study there”, said Veronika Petrosyan, who is 17 years old and is due to enter the university in a year. In the meantime, she is trying to learn the Georgian language better.
Rosa's family was told that she should choose where to continue her studies.
Rosa chose Georgia: "I was born here, my friends are here, so I want to study here".
Narine also wants to continue her studies in Georgia: “Most of my relatives live in Armenia and Russia. But I love Georgia, my country, and I don’t want to go to another country”.
Tigran Tarziani, 27, is a local activist from Javakheti. He lives in Ninotsminda, in the village of Uchmana, and has a blog about the life of Javakheti.
Tigran says that the root of all problems in Javakheti is the lack of knowledge of the state language. There is no language learning environment in Javakheti - people don't use Georgian outside of class:
“Children have been studying Georgian at school for 12 years and still do not know it. Why?! Because there is no environment. It would also be nice to have practical courses, we need them, because we speak Armenian everywhere - in the village, at home, at school. You can't learn a language in 40 minutes or one hour a day".