Araratian Baccalaureate: new school network in Armenia and Artsakh

Director of the National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE) Fr. Mesrop Aramian said this in his opening speech during the ceremony held on May 30 in Matenadaran's meeting hall. The goal was to summarize the path of the NPEE, to announce the launch of preparing the network of schools within the framework of the new educational program “Araratian Baccalaureate”, and to present the first schools of Armenian regions and Artsakh joining the program.

The event was also attended by the Acting Minister of Education and Science of the RA Levon Mkrtchyan and the RA President Serzh Sargsyan who had their speeches during it.

"In September 2014, in Gyumri, the President of the RA announced the launch of the NPEE, and the works started. During this time, we not only managed to bring the syllabus for the subjects covered by Araratian Baccalaureate into full compliance with international standards, but also to develop a program for training and certification of teachers in line with such standards. Besides, within just 2.5 years, the fastest ever, we achieved the goal – currently, internationally recognized examinations are conducted in Armenia, which have a very important and unique feature - these examinations are conducted in the Armenian language", said Fr. Mesrop, once again emphasizing that the AB is in the Armenian language, with the Armenian spirit; a program fully developed in Armenia, by Armenian specialists.

The program will be implemented in 21 high schools of Armenian regions and Artsakh (20 in the RA regions and one in Artsakh). It is expected that over the next 10 years  the Araratian Baccalaureate program will be introduced in all high schools of the RA.

Fr. Mesrop Aramyan stated that they were to select 21 schools, but in fact they selected twice as much. In his opinion, it proves that there are highly qualified teachers in our regions and in Artsakh; besides, there is a very important factor – dedication and trust in our own future. "The reason why this program begins from the regions is to provide all our children with the opportunity to acquire the best education,"  he said.

“The Araratian Baccalaureate program solves the issue of quality of the education, which is composed of three major components - knowledge, skills, and upbringing. If these three are not there simultaneously, one cannot talk about quality of education,” said Minister of Education Levon Mkrtchyan.

During the event, the Minister of Education awarded certificates of acknowledgment to 12 teachers from 21 candidate schools who had the highest results in examinations of AB subjects.

Thereafter, the RA President awarded certificates of acknowledgment to the best candidate schools that had been involved in establishment of the AB school network and scored high in examinations of AB subjects.

"For years we have been saying that the best education, knowledge-based economy, and high technologies can be the most important aspects for Armenia's future. In my opinion, we have reached an agreement and have formed a public opinion with this respect, and there are no differences in our society with relation to these goals. Today, with the help of Araratian Baccalaureate, we give the answer to the question how to accomplish this noble and justified objective. Araratian Baccalaureate is a national program for educational excellence, therefore we will be consistent about implementing it all over our republic. Today, actually, we have announced the launch of the first phase of this work," said the RA President, closing the event.

At the end of the event, the Acting Executive Director of the Ayb Educational Foundation Sona Koshetsyan and Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the RA David Sahakyan awarded certificates to all 21 schools included in the nomination stage for Araratian Baccalaureate this year. It is planned that the teaching with Araratian Baccalaureate program will start at these schools already in September 2018.