Education minister briefs President Sargsyan on sector’s current issues and 2018 activities
YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 28, ARMENPRESS. During a working meeting with President Serzh Sargsyan, minister of education and science Levon Mkrtchyan reported on the implementation process of instructions given by the President, the works carried out so far aimed at ensuring high-quality education, implementing new innovative programs for this purpose, the ministry’s priority issues and the activities for 2018, the Presidential Office told Armenpress.
The minister reported that the draft law on ‘Approving the State Education Development Program until 2030’ has been developed and submitted for the government’s approval. The draft law aims at forming an education system directed towards future.
Commenting on the innovative educational programs being implemented in parallel with the centers for excellence, including the Araratian Bachelor’s Program, minister Mkrtchyan said it has already received an international recognition. He added that based on the President’s instruction the system of centers for excellence is being installed also in high schools of the Republic.
As for the development of public-private sector cooperation in the field of education as tasked by the President, the minister reported that new programs have been introduced. In particular, the network of TUMO Center has expanded, in addition to Yerevan, the Center also has branches in Dilijan, Gyumri, Stepanakert and enables 14.000 children annually to develop their skills by the art and IT programs. According to other projects, the Robotics development program has been introduced jointly with the Union of Information Technology Enterprises (UITE): as of January 2018, there are 225 groups involving nearly 5000 children.
The education minister also presented the activities conducted for increasing the teaching effectiveness of foreign languages with the goal to improve the education quality. He said the construction works of school teaching Chinese are underway, and it is expected to launch the school on September 1, 2018 thanks to the nearly 11 million USD investments made by the Chinese side.
English teaching clubs were established by the assistance of the UK government in 6 communities of the Republic which include nearly 400 students, and over 200 teachers have undergone training. French language is being taught in 10 schools.
The minister also reported on the process of social assistance programs, stating that in 2017 1-12th grade students in 49 schools of 39 communities received textbooks for free at the expense of the state budget resources.
As a result of the expansion of the Stable School Food national program, the Tavush province joined the program in 2017, and the program will be introduced in the Shirak province in 2018.
Stating that one of the priority directions for education development is the transition to the universal inclusive education which aims at creating high-quality education opportunities for all children in school, the minister said the universal inclusive education has been introduced in Syunik, Lori and Tavush provinces, and the system will be installed in Armavir province this year.
Levon Mkrtchyan also informed that the professional group for reforms of the higher education system formed by the President’s task has completed the development of the draft law on Higher Education. The draft law is in the Parliament at the moment.
As for the activities for 2018 the minister mentioned the works to be carried out on revising the principles of providing the universities’ state funding mechanisms and student scholarships, installing a single information system for management of higher education, increasing the accountability and on several other directions.
English – translator/editor: Aneta Harutyunyan