First Russian Schools for Muslims in Tbilisi (Georgia)

Proceedings of The International Conference on Research in Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2019


[Fulltex PDF]

First Russian Schools for Muslims in Tbilisi (Georgia)

Nani Gelovani




The city of Tbilisi (its pre-1936 international designation – Tiflis), which became a center of Russian Administration in the Caucasus region since 1801, a residence of the Caucasus Viceroy (Namestnik) since 1845 and an administrative center of Tbilisi Governorate since 1846, was gradually established as an administrative, trade and industrial center of the South Caucasus (Transcaucasia). Through Tbilisi, Russia established diplomatic and trade relations with Eastern countries.In 1847-1849, the first Russian schools for Muslims in the South Caucasus, separately for Shiites and Sunnis, were opened in Tbilisi specifically, where the Caucasus Viceroy could closely supervise “the progress and success of this establishment”. This first experience of Muslim schools was a success: the population, who refrained from sending their children to parochial schools for religious reasons, showed sympathy to them. Opening educational establishments for Muslims controlled by the Tsarist Administration in the South Caucasus can be explained by Russia’s interest to promote the swift adaptation of the Muslims of the South Caucasus to Russian legal and cultural environment and by the need for training clerks among local residents to work at the Administration.The present report will consider the history of the first Russian Muslim schools in the South Caucasus, in Tbilisi in particular (charter, educational program, teaching aids, pedagogical staff, privileges for the graduates, estimate, etc.) based on the materials found in the archival documents and periodicals.

Keywords: Archival documents; Education; Russian Empire; South Caucasus; Tbilisi.