September 27, 2017 saw an episode of 60 Minutes broadcast on the Russia-1 federal TV channel where one of the participants of the show was trying to draw an analogy between the situation in Ukraine, which has been developing in connection with the ban on use of Russian, and some changes which have affected teaching at schools of the Leningor region of the Republic of South Ossetia.
The changes in education system, which started in September 2017, raised inadequate reaction in Tbilisi, where they actively try to distort the real state of affairs and present the innovations as discrimination and violation of rights of Georgian-speaking citizens of South Ossetia for the purpose of obtaining the possibility to draw once again the attention of international organizations, including human rights groups, to the non-issue.
Indeed, those six general education institutions located in the Leningor region of South Ossetia, where teaching was conducted only in Georgian, would gradually switch to the national educational standards and programs of the Republic of South Ossetia. It is worth emphasizing that these innovations affect only teaching in primary grades. Number of lessons of the Georgian language as a separate subject hasn’t decreased. This gradual transition was initiated only for the benefit of local population and for the provision of equal opportunities for all citizens to receive secondary education and study in higher educational institutions of the Republic of South Ossetia and the Russian Federation.
The possibility to use Georgian language in places of compact settlement of Georgian-speaking population is provided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Ossetia. And one cannot speak about any ban on language, as it is happening in Ukraine, or moreover, discrimination of South Ossetian citizens on language grounds.
Tskhinval, September 28, 2017