Araratian Baccalaureate does not wait; individual visits to schools kick off

The Araratian Baccalaureate (AB), an internationally recognized Armenian-language program, which gained momentum last year, continues to steadily move forward.

The deadline for submitting and presenting applications for schools in Armenian regions was in January and for schools in Artsakh in February, and today the next step of the application phase kicks off – individual visits to schools.

How many schools and for what purpose

Immediately after the application deadline, the applications were studied by the specialists of the AB School Enrolment Department. As a result, 27 schools were selected, of which 26 in Armenian regions and 1 in Stepanakert are projected to be certified as AB schools in 2018.

To get a holistic picture of these schools, in the coming two weeks the team of the National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE), represented by Sona Koshetsyan, the аcting Еxecutive Director of the Ayb Educational Foundation, and Anush Ayvazyan, specialist of AB School Enrolment and Coordination Department, will conduct visits to these schools to get acquainted with their goals, learning approaches, environment, and traditions as well as to explore the areas that need further improvement.

All those schools that will prove to meet the standards required to become an AB school will advance to the next phase in March – the phase of candidacy. Upon completing this phase, the schools will be expected to have improved management system, certified teachers, and better learning environment.

“In case there are schools that don’t meet our requirements to proceed to the candidacy phase, we will set a different time period for them,” said Anush Ayvazyan reminding that Araratian Baccalaureate is a state program that is offered along with the current public education program and thus, it will be free of charge for all AB students.

Afterwards, the teachers of the schools that will be selected upon the visits will enroll in the teacher development program, a 10-11-month training program, which is aimed at the development of teachers’ subject delivery skills and abilities. And these will be the teachers that will then be entitled to teach the AB program.

It should be noted that schools may offer the AB in just one class or may wholly switch to this program upon their wish.

As a reminder, 54 schools in Armenian regions and one school in Stepanakert had applied to offer the AB program.

The Araratian Baccalaureate (AB) is an internationally recognized Armenian-language educational program, which is to provide competitive school education for all schoolchildren in Armenia. The Program was designed by the Ayb Educational Foundation and was further improved within the framework of the National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE).

In the first stage, the program will be rolled out to selected schools in Armenian regions and Stepanakert with at least one class with the goal to expand in the future. The first regional schools to offer the AB program are expected to welcome their first AB students on September 1, 2018.

The program is carried out along with the Ministry of Education and Science in collaboration with Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IOE). The program will be offered along with the state program, granting students broader opportunities for the high school educational program and ensuring local and international recognition of their education, graduation marks, and diplomas.

In 2015, AB was benchmarked by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and was found comparable to UK GCE A Levels. In August 2016, one of the most reputable agencies of recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills – UK NARIC – also found AB comparable to leading international educational programs such as the UK GCE A Levels and US Advanced Placement (AP). AB’s comparability to these educational programs grants Armenian students the chance to take international exams in Armenian and, based on their results, be able to get admitted to top universities around the world or be granted credits in those universities.