06:38, Thursday, 17.01.2019
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People actively migrate from Pankisi Gorge



For the past four months, number of pupils has significantly reduced in the public schools of Pankisi Gorge. 60 pupils stopped studying in the villages of Omalo and Dumasturi, 35 pupils abandoned schools in Duisi and 25 in the villages of Jokolo and Birkiani. Pankisi Community Radio WAY disseminated this information. The directors said the reason of this tendency is mass migration of the families from Pankisi Gorge abroad. 

“This process started from the last summer and recently, after the free visa regime with EU member states went in force, number of pupils, who left the school, has increased. Mostly young families migrate,” Community Radio of Pankisi Gorge publishes the comment of Lili Sviakauri, director of Duisi village public school.

In 2016-2017, there were 203 pupils in the public school of Omalo village; by September 15, 2017 their number was 200. School director Bela Gunasashashvili said 30 pupils left school from September 2017 to present. 

“When they apply to school to unregister the pupil, they state that the purpose of the application is traveling abroad; however, none of them have returned so far. We know only two families who may come back,” the school director told the community radio. 

The number of children has reduced in the kindergartens of the Pankisi Gorge villages. In 2015, there were 65 children in the kindergarten of Jokolo village. In 2016-2017 their number reduced to 55. In September of 2017 there were only 50 children and another 10 children have left the kindergarten for the past four months. 

Manager of the Jokolo village kindergarten Bela Mutoshvii said the parents had told her they were leaving Georgia because of unemployment, social problems and lack of future perspectives.

According to the data of the social service agency, by January of 2018, 2 136 persons receive social allowances in the Pankisi Gorge. According to the 2014 census 6 000 persons lived in 12 villages of the Pankisi Gorge. By November 2016, 3 325 persons received social allowances in the Gorge. The number of the allowance beneficiaries reduced at 1 189 persons for the past 14 months. Locals say one of the reasons of the worsened social conditions is suspended social assistance in the gorge. 

Citizens of Georgia received right to travel to EU/Schengen Zone for short term without visa from March 28, 2017. 

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