The program of building 300 schools and 500 kindergartens is not educational at all, it is the program aimed at ensuring the perpetuity of our statehood. The Prime Minister visits newly built schools in Yerevan and regions
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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the newly built schools in the country and familiarized himself with the completed works.
The first stop of the Prime Minister was Yerevan primary school No. 116, which was built within the framework of the "Seismic Safety Improvement Program" of schools implemented by the Armenian Government and the Asian Development Bank. The design works of the school started in February 2019, construction works from October, 2020 and ended in January 2023. The construction works were funded by the Asian Development Bank. In total, 1,391,580.8 thousand AMD were allocated for the construction of the school. In addition to the construction, the school was also equipped with new property, for which 35,805.6 thousand AMD was allocated. Building conditions meet modern educational requirements. The school also has a landscaped, green and asphalted courtyard area. In the new academic year, 465 students will attend the school.
In his speech, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan noted that on September 1 of this year, 3 completely reconstructed schools were opened in Yerevan, these schools are: Yerevan Primary School No. 55, Primary School No. 116, Primary School No. 18, only the front wall of which has been preserved as a cultural value.
"This year, on September 1, we opened 8 schools in the country. I want to list them: secondary school of Ptghunk in Armavir Province, primary school of Deghdzut in Ararat Province, which we will visit again today, secondary school of Ohanavan in Aragatsotn Province, primary school No. 1 in Vayots Dzor Province, which we will also visit, but not today, primary school of Katnaghbyur in Kotayk Province.
We actually spend a lot of time in schools and talking about schools. From the very beginning, we perceived and called the program of "300 schools, 500 kindergartens" as an educational program, but now we see that it is not an educational program at all. It is the program of ensuring the perpetuity of our statehood, because we came to the conclusion that if we want to further strengthen our strong sides and eliminate our weaknesses, we must look at the root. And the root is the school, the root is the preschool, the root is the kindergarten.
Dear children, I am not going to say a childish text in front of you at all, I am going to say a text that is related to the statehood in front of you today as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, because for being able to study and understand any problem, we have to go to school.
Problems in the state system - we should come to the school, look, see in which corner of the school the problem started. Problems in the economy sector - we have to come to the school and see in which room of the school it started. Security problems - we need to go to the school and see which classroom in the school the problems started. I want us to perceive poverty also as an educational problem. Official statistics show that poverty is times less among those with proper education. And I want us to understand that if we want our children to have a chance to avoid poverty in adulthood, we need them to go to school.
To understand the poverty that exists today in many families, among many people, we need to go back to school and see where the lack of schooling is the cause of that poverty. The solution and origin of everything is in the school, and I want us to record and understand this well. The attitude of a person, a citizen, so to speak, between "public" and "own". How does a person treat his street, his yard? We need to go back to school and see where the problem started.
Mr. Avinyan talked about the renovation of 24 kindergartens in Yerevan. We have set a task before ourselves to build 500 kindergartens. Moreover, we already see today that those 300 schools and 500 kindergartens are not at all the maximum that we need. Today we face new challenges. Today, our kindergarten age is 3 years. Next, we need to develop the nursery school infrastructure very strongly, because today more and more families are facing the same problem. In my opinion, we should start a child's education as early as possible, for example, from 1 year old, including to solve a practical problem, because today we are facing a new and growing problem, when children have speech impediments from the age of learning to speak, because we do not take them to kindergarten, and at home they are engaged in smartphones and computers, children's language is mixed. They watch cartoons in different languages, videos intended for children and not intended for children. And we have to solve this problem in the next stage, because at the age of learning to speak, the child should be in his environment, in his city, in his community, in his place of residence, in the environment of his friends and girlfriends as soon as possible, so that speech impediments do not arise, because later on we have greater difficulties to overcome them.
I want to congratulate everyone on the construction of this school. The school principal said something that is very important to me. He said the construction of the school started in November 2020. We all know what month it is, what year it is. And yes, I thank all the people who decided in November 2020 that the construction of this school should begin. And here, this school is the backbone of our state, our sovereignty, our independence and our future.
And if we want to be a strong state, to be a strong society, we must keep our backbone strong, because the child must leave the school of the Republic of Armenia educated. Educated doesn't mean memorizing all the information they need. Although, memorization is also important. Educated means having the skill to find the information one needs to deal with a given situation as quickly as possible.
Our children need to be physically and psychologically strong outside of school so that they are ready for any challenge in life, because unfortunately, life does not warn us about its challenge in advance. But we must be ready for any challenge as an individual, as a community, as a family, as a society, and as a state. And the fact that we started the construction of this school in November 2020 and that we completed the construction of the school in September 2023 and handed it over to the children means that we are on the right path.
Congratulations to this school for being named after an awardee of the Order of the Combat Cross of the First Degree. Glory to the martyrs and long live the Republic of Armenia," the Prime Minister said.
Next, Nikol Pashinyan visited Yerevan primary school No. 95, which was also built within the framework of the "Seismic Safety Improvement Program". The design works of the school started in August 2020, the construction ended in November 2022. A total of 1 billion 188 million AMD was allocated for the construction of the school. In addition to the construction, the school was also equipped with new property, for which 30 million 372 thousand AMD was allocated from the state budget. Building conditions meet modern educational requirements. The school also has a landscaped yard area that is fully fenced. In the new academic year, 663 students will study at the school.
In his speech, Prime Minister Pashinyan noted that three newly built schools were opened in Yerevan in the last four days: in Shengavit, Malatia-Sebastia, Nubarashen administrative districts. "When we were coming here from schools N116, I was thinking on the way that it's good that these schools are opening outside the center of Yerevan. Of course, this does not mean that we should not and will not open schools in the center of Yerevan, but our message today is as follows: the center of Yerevan is where you are. With our message today, we want to say that you are the center.
Think of the issues the Government has on its agenda today: foreign policy, security, economic, political, etc., but we have decided that this is the most important event that we should spend time on. There is no exaggeration in what I am saying, because it is very important that you invest every minute of your time here today and in the future into the right forms and the right content. In this regard, of course, we are very excited, our enthusiasm is great connected with the newly opened schools and kindergartens.
But I also want us to tone down our enthusiasm a bit. Why? Because when we talk about schools, we usually say it's a monument, it's sacred, which is true, but sometimes I don't like these words, because sometimes saying monument, sacred, we are creating some kind of barrier between a child and a school, a teacher and a school, a person and the school. And it is very important that you live at school, learn what freedom is, what creativity is at school, be sure that everything depends on you, absolutely and only on you.
Why is it important to build a school? So that you believe in yourself, first of all in yourself. And I want you to consider this school yours. At first, it seemed to us that building a school is the most difficult task, it is not easy, but in fact it is the easiest part of the task, because the building itself is inanimate, lifeless walls, you have to bring them to life: teachers and students. And I want you to act in that way", said the Head of the Government.
According to Nikol Pashinyan, the school, in addition to giving education, should teach to work, because nothing in life can be achieved without work. "Today I was talking about a phenomenon that has been tormenting Armenia for a long time - poverty, which is quite a serious problem. And if we don't put the right structure of understanding the world in our school, or more precisely, if we put the right structure of understanding the world in the school, we will change a lot in our life, in the life of our country, in the life of our environment and society."
Welcoming the teachers, the Prime Minister noted that today the salary of all teachers in the Republic of Armenia has at least doubled. "Here too, the government has done its part, and it remains for our teachers to go and take, go and own their doubled salary. But there is no need to put too much pressure on the teachers. everyone has their own pace, everyone has their own plan. It is also a matter of planning, a matter of life planning. I am sure that all our best teachers will pass that way, because it is also a matter of responsibility in front of the student. Although the student must know that his teacher should eventually teach him how to pass through difficulties, the teacher must also first demonstrate by his own example that higher and higher professional abilities and preparation are extremely important."
Nikol Pashinyan congratulated the teachers, students and everyone on the occasion of the opening of the magnificent building. "The Government just commissioned the building, you must ensure its future course, future life. Look, everything is new, renewed, and I want you to treat this environment with time in such a way that everything becomes newer, more luscious, more beautiful. That doesn't mean, by the way, that's the next danger, that we shouldn’t use it so that it remains new. No, it should be used, it should be used for the purpose of education, the purpose of development, the purpose of well-being, it should be used for psychological, physical and mental strength. A student of our school should leave the school with three main qualities, this applies equally to both boys and girls: a strong mind, a strong body and a strong spirit, that is, psychologically strong. These three are extremely important. If one is mentally strong and psychologically weak, it will not solve the problem. If it is strong psychologically, weak in mind and physically, it will not solve our problem. We need to be strong in mind, strong in spirit and strong in body. And I am convinced that we have created all the conditions. We pass the baton to you. And I want to wish that you successfully and victoriously bring that baton to the finish line.
Glory to the martyrs and long live the Republic of Armenia."
Then the Prime Minister visited the secondary school of Deghdzut community of Ararat Province. The modular building was built within the framework of the 300 schools, 500 kindergartens program of the Armenian Government. The construction works of the school started in November 2020 with the funding from the state budget. A total of 743 million AMD were allocated for the construction of the school. The school was also equipped with new property, for which 18.6 million AMD were allocated from the state budget. The building conditions of this school also meet modern educational requirements. The school also has a landscaped yard area that is fully fenced. 180 students will attend the school in the new academic year.
At the meeting with teachers, students, and parents, Nikol Pashinyan noted that he is visiting Deghdzut school for the third time. “I want you to acknowledge the following reality: you are in the center of events. We are here to show that you are in the center, you are the center. The center is where the children are, where the people are."
According to the Prime Minister, the "center" has become a big concept because in the center children have greater access to education, transportation, cultural life, parks, etc. "Maybe there is a higher level of well-being in the center, maybe the salaries are higher. We want Deghdzut, as well as Nubarashen, to be the center. With this, we do not want to reduce the centrality of the Center, we want to increase the centrality of other places, and this school is a bright example of that. And Deghdzut school is not only about creating conditions for you to learn, but we also learn.
We think: 300 schools, 500 kindergartens, this is perhaps the biggest school construction program in the history of independent Armenia. We also make mistakes and learn from them, that's normal. And the important thing is not to hide, but to face where we have a deficiency, to fill it, if something has turned out well somewhere, to spread it to others.
For example, let me say something simple, our conclusion today is that yellow should become the unified brand of our schools, because we renovated different schools with different color solutions, but today we came to the conclusion that all our schools should have the same color solutions, so that the schools of Deghdzut, Kentron, Nubarashen and even the most remote villages should operate according to the logic of one family.
Look, you said that for an Armenian, school is in second place after bread, I would like to rephrase it. the school comes first because it depends on the school whether there will be bread or not. Where there is no bread, there can be all kinds of problems, but among them, the problem of education occupies a significant part. The state should fight poverty through education, because teaching a child does not mean teaching what, for example, is the capital of Syria or the South African Republic, what is the highest mountain in the world, although knowing this is very important, but teaching means to teach to live, teach to live honestly, prosperously, this is important."
According to Nikol Pashinyan, the word school does not need any other adverb. "Above the school is the state, nothing else, and we must understand this very well. We must understand what we are talking about, we must be very precise in our concepts, we are talking about the state. Recently, I have been talking about it very often, we need to build the right relationship between the concepts of state and homeland. You rightly mentioned that now are difficult times, but when were the times easy and when will they be easy? Is our hope that easy times will come? There will never be easy times. I hope that you study history well and will study well and see that times are always difficult in their own way, every period is difficult in its own way."
The Head of the Government emphasized that in order to make the times good, one must work and study. "The hardest is ahead, and the hardest is your job. The most difficult thing is your job, and your oath should not be in front of the Government, in front of others. You must agree with yourself that you will leave school strong in knowledge, strong physically, strong psychologically and with a completely new attitude towards work, because learning is not a prayer, learning is work. Building a school is not a prayer, building a school is work. Having a state is not a prayer, having a state is work. Prosperity is not a prayer, prosperity is work. Prayer can have its place, but prayer should not be confused with work. We came here to work, and we can pray before going to sleep or when we wake up in the morning. I wish you and all of us successful work, congratulations on handing over this school to you.
Glory to the martyrs, long live the Republic of Armenia. And congratulations on the occasion of the newly built school in Deghdzut, not the renovated one, but the newly built one," Nikol Pashinyan concluded.
The last stop of the Prime Minister was Ohanavan secondary school in Aragatsotn Province, which was reconstructed within the framework of the "Seismic Safety Improvement Program". The program, which started in 2021, ended this year. In total, 880 million AMD was allocated for the construction of the school. In addition to the construction, the school was equipped with new property, for which 24.6 million AMD was allocated. Building conditions meet modern educational requirements. The school also has a landscaped, green and asphalted courtyard area. In the new academic year, 361 students will attend the school.
In his speech, the Prime Minister noted. "This whole process of school education is as follows: we help the child, motivate him, be able to get him to know himself, to know his talent, to discover his talent, and from the moment of discovery to develop and reach the top, to reach his mission, which he surely has.
In principle, all of our graduates should be able to enter a higher educational institution, but this does not mean that everyone should be admitted to a higher educational institution. It is necessary to understand what makes a person feel good. Today in the Republic of Armenia there are thousands of people with a diploma of higher education who do not have a job, or who do not feel satisfied with their work or profession. This is the reason why we are thinking about making the educational system available from the age of one and the reforms of higher education are no less important.
School, education is for that a person can arrange, position and place himself in the logic of life, be an individual, be creative and feel happy. One can feel happy in the role of a doctor, the other in the role of a soldier or teacher. I am very happy that today in the republic we have a situation where our private soldiers can receive a salary of 400-600 thousand AMD, and our teachers - 350-500 thousand AMD. We create the same conditions for kindergarten teachers and coaches and give a platform for all talented people to be valued in the Republic of Armenia. And this kind of school, this kind of situation are our perceptions about the Republic of Armenia.
The road from Yerevan to Ohanavan is being reconstructed with great momentum, one part of the road leading to the school has been repaired, the other part is being repaired. We do all this for the sake of making each of you feel like a proud, happy and full-fledged citizen of the Republic of Armenia, with the logic that we all have to build that happiness, we have to build that completeness, we have to build and maintain that pride.
Glory to the martyrs and long live the Republic of Armenia. Congratulations on the occasion of Ohanavan Scondary School."
Next, a consultation was held at the Ohanavan school chaired by the Prime Minister, during which the construction of 300 schools and 500 kindergartens in the republic was discussed. The Prime Minister instructed to carry out the works in accordance with the established schedule, paying special attention to the quality.