Minister of Education and Science Armen Ashotyan gave a press conference at the Government press center on January 18 to present major plans and projects in the educational sphere for 2012. He pointed out, that the ongoing processes will be completed, new steps will be undertaken and such issues, as quality, access to education, welfare, struggle against corruption will be the main targets of education.
According to the minister, the educational field will face reforms in every branch of education (pre-school, secondary, initial and vocational, higher education).
80 pre-school institutions will be opened in regions, 8 thousand teachers will be trained and qualified, IT technologies will be continuously introduced in schools. 1403 schools will be connected to the Internet and in 107 high schools “Wi-Fi” Internet will be available. A. Ashotyan stressed, that all the textbooks used in secondary educational institutions will be placed in one electronic database, giving the opportunity to upload them, if needed. Besides, schoolchildren in elementary grades will get free textbooks. As to “Chess” as school subject, the Minister mentioned, that it’s turning to the international brand of the Armenian educational system. He also stressed the need to develop a system of school evaluation.
Reforms will also take place in the sphere of initial and vocational education, such as professors’ training courses, development of subject standards and the connection between education and labor market will be reinforced.
The reforms in the higher education sphere will run in three main directions according to the Bologna process. The Minister also spoke about the changes to take place in the HEI-s: introduction of National Qualifications Framework, accreditation of the HEI-s and financial reforms. The novelty in 2012 will be the establishment of the double diplomas award. The Minister clarified, that once an agreement is gained with the international educational institutions, the student completing the joint educational program, will be awarded with two diplomas, the one from Armenia and the other from the certain international institution. HE also added, that a rating system of the Armenian HIE-s will be developed and implemented, based on the international experience.
A. Ashotyan kept his promise, answering not only the journalists’ but also “Facebook” social site users’ questions.