Education 15:02 30/08/2018 Armenia

Back to school: Some rural communities have few or no first graders in Armenia

Schools across Armenia are opening their doors in front of some 39,000 first graders on 1 September, Ashot Arshakyan, the head of the General Education Department at the Ministry of Education and Science, told Panorama.am.

“This is not the exact number yet. It will become clearer on 5 September. A slight positive dynamics is observed compared to the past year,” he said.

However, some schools in Armenia’s rural communities will welcome only one or two schoolstudents this year, with some of them having none, which is not the first case at the beginning of the academic year

Arshakyan could not provide any information on the number of such schools, promising the education ministry will release exact figures on 5 September.

Panorama.am has reached some village school principals for comments on the situation in their communities. 

The general school of Yazidi-populated Arevut village in Armenia’s Aragatsotn Province will admit only two first graders this year, Khatun Harutyunyan, the principal of the school, told us, adding the situation has, however, improved this year compared to last year, when the school had only one first grader.

He said the school houses overall 13 students.

“The number of schoolchildren sharply dropped over the past ten years: people are living the village,” he said, meantime expressing hope for a better future since the number of newborns are growing in the village.

The village of Vardablur of the same region will welcome no first graders at the starting academic year. “The school has no problems. It is the village that is facing problems: unemployment is forcing people to leave, with the number of school students on the decline. The school intended for 192 children now has only 62 students. The migration continues. We also have no graduates this year,” Albert Nazaretyan, the headmaster of the local school, told us.

The basic school of Saravan community of Vayots Dzor region will also welcome only one first-grade student.

Headmaster Ashot Pandunts says the school, intended to educate some 80 children, has only 15 students, with classrooms of 2 children a common phenomenon for the school for a long time already.

A more improved situation is observed in Aygepar Secondary School in Tavush region, which will admit 6 first-grade students this year.

“We welcomed 7 first graders last year. Currently, our school has 55 students. The number of our schoolchildren keeps growing. The marriage rates among young people is also on the rise,” headmistress Arevik Arzumanyan told us.



Source Panorama.am
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