Tumo Center of Creative Technologies Marks 1 Year Anniversary with Acheivements

Armenia -- Students at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, Yerevan, 14Aug2012
Armenia — Students at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, Yerevan, 14Aug2012

An innovative, open media studio in the heart of Yerevan opened its doors to Armenian teenagers on August 14, 2011. Today, a year later, the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies has much to boast about, including a creative contribution to the official video for a world-class musician – Serj Tankian. Continue reading “Tumo Center of Creative Technologies Marks 1 Year Anniversary with Acheivements”

Entry Level Professors Worth Only $405 in Armenia

A group of young academics have been demanding an increase to state subsidization of science and education in Armenia. They have created a Facebook group, organized a number of discussions to formulate and put forward their demands.
President of Armenia met the group last year and said instead of demanding an increase of funding, the young scientists should think of better utilizing the funding available to them already. This is surely, a valid statement.
However, a new article in New York Times adds a bit of perspective to the situation with state funding of science and education in Armenia.
According to NYT, Philip Altbach and his colleagues at the Center for International Higher Education have examined academic salaries, contracts and benefits in publicly funded universities in 28 countries, including Armenia. Continue reading “Entry Level Professors Worth Only $405 in Armenia”

“How much is it for a 5 in maths?”

I never went to school in Armenia but there are several important differences between the two systems. The most shocking thing is about the fact that in the little ex soviet republic, the students can buy their notes. This practice is not used or tolerated in Switzerland. The price of the notes depends on the importance of the exam. Armenian teachers act this way because they are often underpaid. Unfortunately, this way of education is very bad for the country because the armenian diplomas are not valuable anymore. Consequently, foreign diplomas are much more demanded in the Armenian labour market. However, some brave students decide not to pay their teachers to get good marks and to work instead of paying.Otherwise, this system makes the differences between the poor and the rich of the country even more unfair, giving rich people the opportunity to get diplomas without money…
Stéphane Maffli

September 1st – Start of Academic Year

The new academic year means a lot of happy faces, cheerful children and students first-graders happy and proud of themselves for having made it. The start of the academic year means new clothes, and new stationaries and first “gifts” to the school teachers, and starting to learn how to find your way around without having to learn anything!? The start of the new academic year means endless traffic jams around educational institutions created by proud parents making sure their sibling is taken to school in their new car, so everyone knows who’s the “important” dad here.
For Ahousekeeper, the start of the new academic year means, that the number of first graders has diminished by 3-4 thousand, which means the Armenian army will be weaker in 10 years time – so we’d better start thinking about it right now.
For David_Sand it is another reason to speculate about the way law is taught in the Armenian universities, and while the blogger thinks the only chance his son has got to learn anything is to attend the French University in Armenia, he notes serious shortcomings: they don’t teach Roman Law and Constitutional Rights in other countries.
Well, I guess I just want to discard the pessimistic/ironic tones on this occasion and wish all these kids attending their first year at school and university: have a safe journey through the roads of knowledge and let the traffic jams not cross your way.

The Heros of Our Times

ICHD blog has published an interesting article about the changes int he value systems in Armenia, whereby children are dreaming of becoming “police officers, and ‘akhrannik'[bodyguards]”, and draws parallels with the Soviet times:

…We dreamed of becoming Gagarin, and they’d tell us, that we must study well to make it; we wanted to be like Sakharov, they’d keep repeatling: learn, learn, learn…

By an interesting coincidence Armenia blog had posted photos of Armenian bodyguards on the very same day.

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