National Program for Educational Excellence
The National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE) continues to move forward carrying out reforms and improvements in the Armenian education system.
Works carried out in the reporting period
- 65 students took the first-ever Araratian Baccalaureate (AB) exams in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics.
- 7 specialists from 3 reputable British institutions visited Armenia to help with the organization of AB exams and to conduct the regular teacher trainings.
- 2 more face to face trainings were held.
First-ever Araratian Baccalaureate exams
May 13 will henceforth be a landmark in Armenia’s history of education – the day when 65 Ayb School students, 11th and 12th graders, took the first Armenian-language exams in Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics that will be internationally recognized.
The results of the exams were satisfactory for both the Araratian Baccalaureate Exam Center (ABEC) and specialists from Cambridge International Examinations.
Good job, dear pioneers! 🙂
Visits from reputable international institutions
Within the framework of the AB international recognition representatives from United Kingdom National Agency for the Recognition and Comparison of International Qualifications and Skills (UK NARIC) – Head of International Projects Group Abigail Jones and Senior Analyst James Freeman – were in Yerevan from April 5 to 8.
They paid a visit to the AB Exam Center (ABEC) to make sure that all necessary conditions (special archive for exam papers, and confidentiality) were met, as well as to Ayb High School to examine lesson plans, laboratories, physical environment, etc.
It was the second visit of UK NARIC’s representatives (first was in October 2015) within the framework of AB’s international recognition process. UK NARIC will make its final decision in August 2016.
University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE)
Specialists from UCL Institute of Education (IօE) – experts in Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment, and Academic Development, Professor Shirley Simon and Lecturer John Connolly – were in Yerevan from May 6 to 9.
They conducted lesson observations and group discussions with eight science teachers to help them further their science teaching methodologies and discuss curriculum challenges of science subjects and modern delivery methods and approaches.
Lecturer in Business and Economics Education at UCL IօE Polly Glegg visited Yerevan from May 31 to June 5 to help senior teachers (ST) with the training of advanced skills teachers (ASTs) and to enhance their training skills. “One of the main topics we’ve been addressing is how a trainer draw on the existing knowledge and practice of the ASTs, whilst at the same time bringing in new ideas and new practices,” she said.
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE)
Cambridge consultant Heather West visited Armenia from May 23 to 28 to conduct a training for AB subject specialists and teachers.
Senior Assessment Advisor at Cambridge International Examinations, Annabel Criddle, was in Armenia from June 6 to 10 to help the AB Exam Center (ABEC) with the final marking and awarding of AB exams.
Second face to face training
The second face to face training of NPEE teachers was held from April 22 to 24. During the training teachers focused on topics such as students’ feedback, differentiated learning and its strategies, etc.
Third face to face training
The third face to face training of NPEE teachers was held at Ayb School from June 30 to July 1. Teachers dwelled upon creativity, individual learning, pedagogical subject knowledge, education trends, etc.
These trainings are conducted by NPEE senior teachers (STs) that passed a nine-month training course in 2015 delivered by specialists from the UCL Institute of Education. 14 Ayb School teachers selected based on certain criteria are enrolled in these trainings that will last 20 weeks and be followed by the teachers’ certification.
International school competitions
Competitions that celebrate logic and creativity and don’t just test knowledge – perhaps this is the reason why Ayb Foundation’s school competitions register such high rates of participation and record impressive results.
- Kangaroo international math contest was summed up.
- Semi-final and final rounds of the All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists were held.
- Preparatory works for the national stage of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) were held.
Kangaroo International Math Contest
1012 schools of which 65 in Artsakh, participated in Kangaroo 2016. Ayb Foundation was holding the contest for the 8th time in Armenia and 6th time in Artsakh.
The results were summed up to reveal 5 winners and 1597 prizewinners, which is a record number in Kangaroo’s history in Armenia.
Kangaroo 2016 winners:
Nelson Stepanyan Basic School N71, Yerevan
Monte Melkonyan Basic School N11, Yerevan
Admiral Isakov Basic School N132, Yerevan
Artashes Shahinyan Special Physmath School, Yerevan
Artashes Shahinyan Special Physmath School, Yerevan
The last two winners who have already turned 12 and have basic knowledge of English (these are the requirements of the international organizer) will participate in the international camp held in Chepelare ski and snowboard resort on August 1-7 in Bulgaria. It should be noted that these two bright high-school students also participated in the International Mathematical Olympiad held in Hong Kong on July 5-12.
In addition to the 5 winners, there are 886 students who showed best results and were awarded diplomas and prizes. Also, the Ayb Educational Foundation has awarded special prizes to 713 more students at schools with no best results or winners. Thus, in total 1604 students were awarded Kangaroo prizes this year. Rewarding ceremonies were held in 31 cities and 36 venues throughout Armenia and in Stepanakert.
All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists
The semi-finals and final of the 6th All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists were held on April 30.
The tournament had a record number of participants this year – 31 teams, 152 participants and 51 trainers and team leaders.
Nine teams from Ararat, Gyumri, Masis, Vanadzor, Vagharshapat and Yerevan competed in the semi-final and only 3 teams advanced to the final. The tough competition ended with the victory of Evrika team from Vanadzor. Adrenalin and Photon from Gyumri won the second and third places, respectively.
All 9 teams were awarded participation certificates and souvenirs, while the prize-winners also received diplomas and prizes. To encourage the participants, the jury awarded special certificates to the Best Reporter, Best Opponent, Best Reviewer, Best Participant in the Team and Best Captain.
World Robot Olympiad (WRO), National Stage
May 17 was the deadline for schools to register for the national stage of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO). 10 teams registered and it was quite cheering considering it was the first time Armenia was to host this competition.
Тhe WRO was held on July 8 under the slogan “Wrap the Rap”. Eight teams participated in the competition. The robots had to help children clean the way to school. After the long and tough struggle Arm Cyber Kids collective team was named a winner and will leave for New Delhi in November to represent Armenia in the WRO international stage.
The exclusive organizer of the WRO 2016 in Armenia is the Ayb Educational Foundation. The exclusive sponsor is Creative Educational Technologies (CET), which is the official supplier of LEGO® Education in Armenia.
National Song and Dance Academy
- The national song and dance syllabus for the 7th grade students has been developed. 113 schools (60 in Yerevan and 53 in Armenia’s regions) have already included the 5th and 6th grade syllabi in their curricula.
- The Military Dance syllabus to be included in the curriculum of the Military Institute starting from September 1, 2016 has been developed and approved.
- An interim Board of Trustees chaired by Gagik Ginosyan has been set up from the Academy’s action group. The main board members will be selected from among the Academy’s community members by the end of this year. The Board of Trustees holds meetings every Monday.
- The final version of National Song and Dance Academy’s logo has been developed. The Board of Trustees has already approved it.
- On June 26, Gagik Ginosyan conducted a regular model lesson. It involved not only Ayb School students but also Ayb Club members. To date, five model lessons have been held.
- In late June, in its ongoing effort to expand the community of supporters, the Academy held a get-to-know event for the supporters’ community. On the initiative of the supporters, this event will from now on be held on monthly basis. Both the aforementioned dance model lesson and the community-building event resulted in nine new supporters. As of today, the Academy has 24
- In March-June, the National Song and Dance Academy negotiated with the Ministry of Education and Science to devise a Memorandum of Understanding that would allow the Academy to assume responsibility over the introduction of national song and dance lessons in schools across Armenia. The memorandum is expected to be signed in July.
- The National Song and Dance Academy has expanded its social media presence and besides its official Facebook page (2392 followers) it now has a YouTube channel as well. Both social media platforms are regularly updated with posts and events related to national songs and dances.