Education Programmes for Future Teachers Improved at Armenian State Pedagogical University
Yerevan, 28 September 2018 – UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian State Pedagogical University announced a range of improvements in the education programmes for future teachers during a conference titled “University Pedagogical Reforms in the Context of Inclusiveness.”
The conference marked the official end of the partnership between ASPU and the University of Minnesota (USA) with a summary of the broad range of activities implemented, their achievements and shortcomings. The participants discussed the future course of reforms and local needs in the inclusive education system.
Two programmes each at the bachelor and master levels were revised and enriched with the latest specialized literature, raising their quality to internationally acceptable standards. Four teaching modules were created and a webinar series was prepared, both of which will be available at the ASPU website.
Through the joint efforts of the faculty at ASPU and the University of Minnesota, a voluminous textbook on inclusive education was produced for pedagogical universities, focusing on the provision of quality education to children with special education needs.
“In the context of reforms in the education and child care systems, there is a need in Armenia for specialists and teachers that have the necessary ability to identify children with development needs, and to provide them with the relevant specialized intervention. In response to this need, UNICEF initiated a partnership between ASPU and the University of Minnesota that aimed to review the education programmes for future teachers so that the learning process could be better adapted to the needs of children,” noted Tanja Radocaj, Representative of UNICEF Armenia.
During 2016-2018, two study visits were organized to the University of Minnesota in the US, where high-ranking officials from the education sector in Armenia as well as faculty members from the special education department at ASPU were given the opportunity to network, visit inclusive schools and kindergartens, non-government organizations focusing on people with disabilities and resource centres providing services to them. They also attended several lectures.
During that time, specialists from the University of Minnesota organized master classes, discussions and lectures for 80 instructors from pedagogical universities in Yerevan and Vanadzor as well as 200 teachers.
The conference included speeches by UNICEF Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia Afshan Khan, RA Minister of Education and Science Arayik Harutyunyan, RA Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Mane Tandilyan, APSU Rector Ruben Mirzakhanyan and Mission Director for the US Agency for International Development Deborah Grieser.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.