Armenia launches national consultation on transforming education
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Republic of Armenia Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, UN Armenia and UNICEF held the inaugural national consultation ahead of the Transforming Education Summit in September. The objective is to ensure a participatory and comprehensive consultative process to uncover the current challenges in education and potential solutions.
The event was attended by Mr Vahram Dumanyan, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, Ms Lila Pieters Yahia, acting UN Armenia Resident Coordinator, Ms Silvia Mestroni, acting UNICEF Representative, Mr Artur Martirosyan, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, as well as representatives of international organizations, diplomatic corps, youth and civil society organisations, private sector, teachers and education experts.
Mr Dumanyan welcomed participants and noted that Armenia is part of the global discussion on transforming education. Ahead of the Summit in September in New York, the line of national consultations will help Armenia in the process of current education reforms and long-term strategic planning on development of education. It will also help Armenia crystalize the scope of pledges for the transforming education agenda.
“Our government is determined to continue an active dialogue with the main stakeholders, including with the youth, through a participatory democratic process. Education is a priority area for us, and, at present, we lead reforms across all levels of education that include a number of legislative changes, large scale investment and development programmes that focus on enhancing inclusion, access and quality. One thing is evident – the development of education requires everyone’s active engagement and cooperation at national and international levels. From that perspective, our consultation today is very important,” stated Minister Dumanyan.
“It’s extremely important to highlight Armenia's commitment and leadership towards preparing its participation for the Transforming Education Summit taking place after the UN General Assembly session. Transformed education systems are one of the keys to unlocking the broader breakthroughs to secure a better future for all, through the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals,” noted Lila Pieters Yahia, acting UN Resident Coordinator in Armenia.
“The world is in the depths of a learning crisis, which existed before COVID and it was aggravated by the pandemic. It affects vulnerable children the most and is a major driver of intergenerational poverty and inequality. So we must act urgently to bring every child back to the classroom, have systems in place to assess their level of learning and wellbeing and help them catch up on lost learning,” noted Silvia Mestroni, Acting UNICEF Representative in Armenia. “Together with UN Armenia, UNICEF will organize a number of youth consultations ahead of the Summit. Young people have the right to express their opinion on this matter and their opinion matters.”
Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Mr Artur Martirosyan presented the main issues and goals that Armenia’s ‘Development of education until 2030’ state programme will address. He emphasized that the majority of issues being discussed at global level on transforming education are already part of the national strategy on education in Armenia, as well as other documents. Mr Martirosyan placed particular importance on issues of increasing financing for education, digitalization of education, enhancing skills in parallel to knowledge, linkages with the labor market, and ensuring accessibility of education services.
“This meeting is important in two aspects. First, scoping out the range of pledges that Armenia can take at the Transforming Education Summit in New York, and second, as another platform that ensures participation and democratic governance in the field of education and related state policy,” noted Mr Martirosyan. “The Armenian government is getting ready to review and approve the plan of action contingent to the Education Strategy, which will also entail consultations with stakeholders.” The Deputy Minister called on participants to be active in outlining suggestions that the Ministry can consider.
Participants of the national consultation were invited to take part in breakdown group discussions on inclusion, fair, safe and healthy schools, teaching, learning, life, labor and sustainable development skills, digital education and transformation, as well as on financing of education.
The results of the national consultations will be used by the government to prepare for the Transforming Education Summit to be held in September in New York within the scope of the UN General Assembly. Prior to the national consultations, Deputy Minister Martirosyan attended the Pre-Summit on June 28-29.
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