The program “Armenian-Georgian Public Educational Bridges” has been implemented in the Yerevan Mkhitar Sebastatsi EduComplex since 2009. The program doesn’t have any shortage of establishing new partnerships, expanding geography and diversity of projects. In the period of pandemic, when there is enough time to communicate online more often, partnerships have been strengthened, and our friendships have been extended to Georgian families.
Georgian is taught at the Middle and High Schools of”Mkhitar Sebastatsi EduComplex by the choice of the students. I am glad that this academic year the students of the Vocational School and Career College of the EduComplex have had an opportunity to choose Georgian and to participate in the implementation of projects, to come up with their own initiatives.
2020 has been declared the Year of Shota Rustaveli in Georgia. Rustaveli was a Georgian political figure and poet of the Georgian Golden Age. He is the author of the national epic poem The Knight in the Panther’s Skin. Rustaveli’s name was recorded in the written sources of the 17th century. The author mentioned his name in the lines of the epic poem. The last name shows the place of his birth, the village of Rustav of Meskheti. According to the information found in Jerusalem, Shota Rustaveli is mentioned as a benefactor, which testifies to his high position in the palace of Queen Tamar.
The State Academic Theater in Tbilisi is named after Shota Rustaveli (since 1887). There exists a state award Shota Rustaveli (since 1965). The Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia also bears his name. There is also Rustaveli Street in Tbilisi.
For many years, the Tbilisi National Library has been implementing the literary project “We are Reading Rustaveli” with the participation of schoolchildren from all the cities and villages of Georgia, and from Armenia – the Georgian speakers of the Yerevan Mkhitar Sebastatsi EduComplex.
As 2020 has been declared the year of Rustaveli, “We are Reading Rustaveli” has become a long term project. The students of the Middle and High Schools and the College began to study the epic poem. It is true that it is not an easy thing to do as many complicated words are used in it, but the learners began to love The Knight in the Panther’s Skin by studying and discussing it part by part and also comparing the original text with the Armenian translation.
Georgian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E. Mr. Giorgi Saganelidze gives much significance to the project being implemented in the EduComplex, therefore, he joined in our readings. Joint readings with Mrs. Eca Bakradze were organized. It turned out to be an excellent master class work shop. Mrs. Eca Bakradze had chosen the parts of the poem so carefully and was reading and explaining to us with such love that our students were listening to her with extreme attention. Such readings and discussions motivate the students to learn Georgian.
Such joint readings continued with the students of the Georgian Village of Vachiani and the town of Lagodekhi. Thus, hearing the native speakers reading the poem had a positive effect on our students’ Georgian pronunciation.
Georgian Language Day has always been celebrated in the EduComplex with a big Armenian-Georgian celebration. On that day the Marble Hall was full, the atmosphere was friendly and the warmth was real. This year, the whole world was deprived of real physical communication and we decided to congratulate our friends in the online environment by reading excerpts from Rustaveli’s The Knight of the Panther’s Skin.
Thus, the poem became more well-known, mastered and read. The project served its purpose: the geography was expanded, more and more people were involved and the information about the project was spread through the social network and on the Facebook page of the Georgian Embassy. The admiring comments of our Georgian colleagues have been an incentive for us to continue the project with a different content and to have more coverage.
As a report for the review From Gathering to Gathering, I wanted to introduce the history of one project which had so many partcipants of learners.
And as a conclusion, I will present the project “General Education Bridges from Isolated Families” born within the framework of a distance-online school. The students of different schools of Georgia and their families participated in this project. They tell about their quarantine, what they are doing, how their distance learning is organized.
Georgian students advise their Armenian peers on how to properly organize their daily lives. This project was very interesting for the EduComplex students studying Georgian. Georgian and Armenian students keep in touch with one another. Our students translate the video films from Georgia into Armenian, learn new Georgian words, and re-estimate the things they already know.
Translator: Yura Ganjalyan