U.S. English Foundation Research



Language Research

6. Language in everyday life: The use of language in everyday life, e.g. education, broadcasting, and other

A Greek primary school was opened in Tirana and Greek may be offered as a foreign language in any public school. There is a Greek chair at the University of Girokastra but there are currently no Greek-language high schools.

Classes in the Macedonian language are available to students in the districts of Pogradeci and Devolli, which border the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The FYROM Government provides texts for these classes.

Updated (August 2002)


The Greek national minority, living in the districts of Gjirokastra, Saranda, Delvina, etc., has the following reviews: “Lajko Vima,” a newspaper which dates back to 1945; “I Foni tis Omonias” (Voice of Omonia) a weekly paper; “2000”, a newspaper which is published in the Greek, English and Albanian language; “Oaz” and “Progres” illustrated reviews.

These newspapers and reviews are freely distributed in every village. Furthermore, some 15 other papers and reviews in the Greek language are distributed in this minority area from Greece.

The Macedonians and Montenegrins have an access to the media in the Macedonian or Montenegrin language.

The Aromanians have their newspaper “Fratia – Vellazerimi” which is published once a month in Albanian and Aromanian.

According to the Council’s of Europe 2001 Report on Albania, the activity of the minorities in all fields of life, their achievements and problems take an important place and are extensively covered by the main programs of the Albanian Radio and Television either in news or in the other programs of cultural, economic and social character.

Actually, in addition to the programs aired by Radio Tirana in the Greek language for 30 minutes, twice a day, Radio Gjirokastra is also broadcasting daily in the Greek language for 45 minutes (from 5 p.m. to 5.45 p.m.).

With funds from the state, the local government organs have installed TV amplifiers in the territory of Albania and thus the Greek national minority can watch the Greek TV stations (NET, ANT1, MEGA, ET1, etc). With the installation of a TV amplifier on Mount Dajti, the Greek TV station ET1, can be freely watched also in Tirana.

For the Macedonian national minority too, the local radio of the city of Korça (Radio Korça) airs three times a week news in the Macedonian language. The Macedonian public and private radio or television stations can be freely seen without the need to install TV amplifiers.

The same can apply also to the small Montenegrin national minority, with regard to the public and private radio or television stations in Montenegro. The local radio of the city of Shkodra (Radio Shkodra) broadcasts programs for this minority.


The Greek national minority extends in 34 villages of the district of Gjirokastra, 35 villages of Saranda, 18 villages of Delvina and 2 villages in Permet, whereas the Macedonian national minority is located in 9 villages of the district of Korça (zone of Prespa) and in one village of Devoll.

The educational system for these national minorities, like for Albanians, consists of three levels: pre-school, elementary and general high education.

For the Greek minority there are 18 elementary schools and 14 primary schools (I-IV grades) and 2 general high schools in the district of Gjirokastra; 17 elementary schools and 4 primary schools (I-IV grades) in the district of Saranda; 7 elementary schools and 7 primary schools (I-IV grades) in the district of Delvina and only 2 primary schools (I-IV form) in the district of Permet.

For the Macedonian minority there are 2 elementary schools and 7 primary schools (I-IV grades) in the district of Korça and only one primary school (I-IV grades) in the district of Devoll.

The above-mentioned schools function in those areas, which are traditionally inhabited by national minorities, in the mean time under the auspices of the Albanian state and in conformity with the relevant legislation. In September 1996, classes for minority children were opened in the Albanian elementary schools in the cities of Gjirokastra, Saranda and Delvina, where Greek national minority people live and exercise the right to study and be taught in their language.

In the Pedagogical High School in the city of Gjirokastra there is a department named “Teacher Training for Minorities,” the only one in the country preparing teachers for the Greek national minority. In addition, a Greek language department also functions in the “Eqerem Çabej” University, in Gjirokastra. In 1995, the Greek language department was opened in the Foreign Languages’ Faculty of the University of Tirana.

In 2000-2001 academic year, 1,845 pupils (constituting 0.37 percent of all the pupils) attended the elementary schools of the two national minorities, with 297 teachers of whom 267 were members of the national minority.

In 1998, new subjects were introduced in the national minority schools: Knowledge on the History of the Greek People and Knowledge on the History of the Macedonian People.

The education in the high schools is entirely in the Albanian language, except for the subject “The Greek Language” (2 classes per week in the first and second grades of the general high school in the Greek minority part) since the academic year 1995-1996 onwards.

Source: Council of Europe, State Reports July 26, 2001

Updated (November 2002)


The first private Macedonian-language radio station in Albania began broadcasting on November 7, 2002. Radio “Prespa,” based in the eastern Albanian town Liqenas, is run by the Prespa Association.

The former Macedonian ambassador to Albania and the state owned Macedonian Radio and Television (MRTV) helped to launch the project.

The Albanian state owned Radio “Korca” broadcasts half an hour daily in Macedonian.

Source: Minelres Archive, RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 6, No. 212, Part II, November 12, 2002,