Today, the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia Levon Mkrtchian reported to the President on the current situation in the general and higher education areas, the process of reforms in the educational system, existing problems, works and innovative programs aimed at making opportunities for receiving high-quality education in Armenia affordable for all. The President had spoken about the necessity to discuss these issues during his visit to the Quant college which took place in the end of last year.
Minister Levon Mkrtchian noted the achievements in the area of education and stressed that thanks to the years-long consisten works it was possible to keep the “educational clock” running unimpeded. According to the Minister, that fact allows the Republic of Armenia to appear before the world as an educational realm which encompasses the entire kindergarden-general education-higher education-science chain.
The Minister of Education and Science reported that along with the traditional centers of excellence such as the network of the schools with the enhanced teaching of physics and mathematics and such, the educational sphere has been augmented with serious innovative educational programs – Araratian Bachelor’s program, the idea of creating an educational cluster in Dilijan. All this has created a rather favorable competitive situation. He added that this base allows to establish centers of excellence. “Reforms in the area of general education on one hand are aimed at the elimination of elitism so that these centers of excellence, as you, Mr. President, have mentioned on many occasions, become locomotive which will carry along the entire system, opening new horizons for the Armenian educational system. Naturally, these works will require a compound reformation also in the area of higher education. We have two major problems, which you have mentioned. One is the problem of high school and transition from the general education to specialized education, and the second is the transition from higher education to science and labor market which we provisionally call the Master’s degree issue,” noted Minister Mkrtchian in his report. He spoke in detail about the works done for the resolution of these issues and about the forthcoming steps.
The President concurred with the Minister on the visible, often even inspiring achievements in the area of education and underscored that it, however, doesn’t mean that there are no problems in the area and that providing greater attention to the schoolchildren, who come back with awards from the international subject Olympiads and study with excellence in schools and later get accepted to the best educational institution of the world, we can be less attentive and caring about the other pupils.
“The objective of school, and I believe this is a very simple truth but needs to be repeated, is not only to prepare brilliant scientists, doctors, teachers, austonauts or entrepreneurs; its primary goal together with the family to prepare citizens of the Repoublic of Armenia – patriotic, diligent, and law abiding.
I have said on many occasions and will say again: I believe ignorance is the root of all human vices. And I trust ignorant is not the person who has not received sufficient education but the person who lacks simple moral standards, who lacks elementary knowledge, this is a real vice. Thanks God, in the Republic the number of individuals with at the least a medium level of knowledge is increasing, and it must be that way.
Today’s educational standards are a little different, however preserving the best, we need to move forward, and add to what we have. Today, we will dicsuss in detail all problems existing in the area of education. The Araratian Bachelor program is brilliant, the centers of excellence are brilliant, but the geography of these centers should be expanded as well as their driving force. You are right: we should not allow elitism in our education, moreover in general education. Yes, there should be educational establishments which are different from the others. Uniformity is not good. But I need to repeat: their advantages should become standards for us and a driving force, a locomotive for others. The entire process for retraining our teachers should change. The teachers, who are able to retrain in line with the contemporary standards, certainly, should be distinguished from others with regard to the attitude towards them and their wages, and their work should become a standard for the others. I think we need to check which of our marzes do not have such high quality establishments and channel our efforts towards creating such establishements in every marz,” said the President of Armenia.
After the Minister made his report, the President of Armenia tasked to create an expert group, which will also comprise individuals involved in the development of the reforms in the area of education, and to present within six months comprehensive provisions for the reformatiom in the aera of the higher specialized education. The implementation of the mentioned provisions will allow to have in Armenia in the forseeable future educational establishements which will have their worthy place on the world’s higher education map.