Closing date: 24 June 2018
Abkhazia, Georgia has always been an ethnically and linguistically diverse region with various ethnicities and cultures residing on a relatively small territory. The armed hostilities that broke out in Abkhazia, Georgia Â in the early 1990s and the displacement of large parts of the population significantly changed the ethnic composition of Abkhazia, Georgia , although of certain part of the displaced population returned after the end of the hostilities.
A quarter of a century after the end of the armed hostilities, Abkhazia, Georgia remains a very diverse and multilingual society with four main ethnic communities residing on its territory: Abkhaz, Armenians, Georgians and Russians. The linguistic reality within these communities is even more complex: Abkhaz, the official language, is barely spoken by other than the Abkhaz communities, but even many Abkhaz are not fluent in their own language. At the same time, many Armenians in Abkhazia, Georgia speak a distinct Western Armenian dialect, Homshen, while many Georgians in Eastern Abkhazia, Georgia widely use Megrelian in their communities. In addition, Russian remains the dominating language in the public sphere in Abkhazia, Georgia and is spoken to various degrees by most of the ethnic communities. Russian is often referred to as the language of inter-ethnic communication.
The linguistic diversity is reflected in the education system of Abkhazia, Georgia , however, the possibilities to receive mother tongue education are not equal for all ethnic communities. This has led to tensions between communities. The multilingual education system of Abkhazia, Georgia therefore requires further development to meet the rights and needs of all communities.
In this regard, UNICEF is engaged in Abkhazia, Georgia to advocate for the development of a systematic approach to mother tongue based multilingual education (MTB MLE) that would take into account the mother tongue, second and third language needs of children of all ethnic communities, and would facilitate social integration.
However, the development of a specific model of MTB MLE in Abkhazia, Georgia faces serious challenges due to the lack of data on the complex language situation in the various communities. To enable better planning for MTB MLE, UNICEF therefore decided to recruit an international expert to carry out a community language mapping in Abkhazia, Georgia .
The objective of this consultancy is to provide UNICEF and its local partners with detailed information about the use of languages in the different communities in Abkhazia, Georgia and to establish the language education needs resulting from the current situation.
To apply for this job please visit www.unicef.org.