Ayb Club Board and Ayb Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustees: meetings and decisions
In the period of April-May, Ayb Club Board and the Ayb Educational Foundation’s Board of Trustees held a number of joint meetings. During these discussions, they confirmed:
- the Translation and Creation of E-Resources (Khan Academy Armenia) program as the Ayb Educational Foundation’s new project; the video materials created and developed within the program, mostly focusing on the Armenian language grammar and mathematics, can be used by various schools as a supplementary material for the syllabi;
- collaboration with Monte Melkonyan Military and Training College; starting this year, the College will deliver the teaching process by the education program jointly developed by the Ayb Educational Foundation;
- the Ayb Educational Foundation’s role as a FAST Foundation’s co-founder;
- the new members of the Board of Trustees of the Ayb Educational Foundation.
The new body of members of the Board of Trustees of the Ayb Educational Foundation
The new body of members of the Board of Trustees of the Ayb Educational Foundation was confirmed. It includes:
National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE)
First Araratian Baccalaureate admission exams
For the first time, this year, students completing basic school and wishing to study at Ayb School, the first school offering the Araratian Baccalaureate (AB) in Armenia, took the AB admission exams in chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, Armenian language and literature and Armenian history. The exam papers had been devised by the AB Examination Center.
This year, students were admitted to Ayb High School through open, internal and regional admission processes. In total, the school welcomed 80 students of which 27 come from Armenian regions and Artsakh.
Admission exams for teachers wishing to participate in AB Professional Teacher Development Program
For the first time, this year, the AB Examination Center elaborated and conducted subject exams for teachers wishing to get involved in the AB Professional Teacher Development Program. Six subjects were considered in this phase:
- Armenian language and literature
- Armenian history
The exams were held in centralized way in Yerevan, Vanadzor and Goris on April 23. Overall, 234 teachers and specialists from Armenia and Artsakh took part in the exams.
The marking and grading of the subject tests began on the next day and continued until May 4. Afterwards, the results were summed up, which revealed that 123 participants had overcome the exams. They were then invited for an interview (the second selection phase after the exams). The interviews were held by senior AB trainer experts from May 24 to June 12.
The interviews aimed to explore the participants’ motivation for their wish to join the AB Professional Teacher Development Program, their teaching philosophy, self-awareness and willingness to improve their knowledge and skills, aspiration for new achievements, communication skills, and personal qualities.
On the whole, 110 teachers and specialists overcame the interviews. All these participants will attend an induction meeting on July 4-5, thus officially embarking on their participation in the AB Professional Teacher Development and Certification Program.
It should be recalled that roughly 300 teachers from Armenia and Artsakh applied to join the AB Professional Teacher Development and Certification Program. The selection of participants was done on a competitive basis and the priority was given to teachers from AB candidate schools. Afterwards, the selection priority “curve” will go down to teachers from schools located close to AB candidate schools, regions where AB candidate schools are located, regions neighboring AB candidate schools, and Yerevan.
The involvement of teachers of other subjects that form part of the AB curriculum will start in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The AB Professional Teacher Development and Certification Program is designed for 10-11 months. It has been developed in collaboration with specialists from the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE), taking into consideration the needs of Armenian teachers.
AB graduation and university admission exams
From June 1 to 14, the AB graduation and university admission exams in four subjects – chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics – were held.
The exams were taken by 67 students from Ayb High School, the first school offering the AB (31 students from the 11th grade and 36 students from the 12th grade).
It should be noted that by the December 16, 2016, decision of the Armenian government the graduates of the Araratian Baccalaureate high school program can enter state HEIs in Armenia without taking the joint exams. Besides entering universities in Armenia, the Araratian Baccalaureate graduates cal also get admitted to top universities around the world or be granted credits in those universities.
The marking and grading of exams
The marking of the AB graduation and university admission exams began the second day following the exams. Each exam was marked by two subject specialists.
en days after the marking was completed, the subject specialists prepared a number of reports, among which one represents high importance – the report for teachers that reflects on the strong and weak aspects of students and stresses the points teachers should work on to record higher results.
To support the grading of the AB graduation exams, Deputy Director at Cambridge University’s Cambridge International Examinations, Dan Bray, arrived in Armenia (June 26-31). Dan Bray also delivered a grading training for Armenian specialists.
The grading was carried out within two-three days.
While in Armenia, Mr. Bray had a meeting with Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Armenia Davit Sahakyan to discuss the Araratian Baccalaureate educational program as well as the achievements the program has recorded so far. Besides, Mr. Bray gave an interview to Orakarg Interview program aired on the Public Television of Armenia. During the interview, he spoke about how collaboration between the CIE and the Ayb Educational Foundation began as well as their role and consultancy within the framework of the AB (watch the video in English subtitles here).
Students are expected to get the online version of their results on July 5, while 15 days after that they will get them in hard copy. The certificates will be awarded in August.
Individual visits to schools that might be certified as AB schools starting 2019
Individual visits to schools that might be certified as AB schools starting 2019 kicked off in May. The number of these schools is 13. The team of the National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE) represented by Acting Executive Director of the Ayb Educational Foundation, head of the AB School Membership and Coordination Department Sona Koshetsyan and coordinator at the same department Anush Ayvazyan have still visited three schools; the rest of the ten schools will be visited once the new academic year starts.
Through these visits, the NPEE team aims to get a holistic picture of these schools, get acquainted with their goals, learning approaches, environment, and traditions as well as to explore the areas that need further improvement. Eight teachers and eight students from each school took part in the two-hour visits.
Solemn event to mark the entry of 21 schools into the AB candidacy phase
On May 30, a solemn event dedicated to the National Program for Educational Excellence was held at the Matenadaran Meeting Hall (Yerevan, Armenia).
The goal behind this event was to summarize the path the NPEE embarked on in 2014 and the achievements it registered since then, announce the launch of the new school network within the framework of the Araratian Baccalaureate internationally-recognized Armenian-language educational program, and present the first schools from Armenian regions and Artsakh that might join the school network starting 2018.
The event was attended by President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan, who delivered speeches during the event.
“Furthermore, within just 2.5 years, the fastest ever, we managed to have examinations that are held in the Armenian language and whose results are internationally acceptable — this is something exceptional,” said Director of the NPEE, Fr. Mesrop, in his opening speech, reiterating that the AB is a program developed in Armenia by Armenian specialists, in the Armenian language and based on Armenian values.
According to Fr. Mesrop Aramian, the Araratian Baccalaureate began its journey from the regions in order to grant children in Armenian regions (both far and close) the chance to get high-quality education.
“The Araratian Baccalaureate offers high-quality education pillared on knowledge, skills, and upbringing. If one of them is missing, there can be no talk about the quality of education,” said Minister of Education and Science, Levon Mkrtchyan.
During the event, the Minister awarded certificates of acknowledgment to 12 teachers from 21 candidate schools who had the highest results in examinations of AB subjects.
Thereafter, the President awarded certificates of acknowledgment to the best candidate schools that had been involved in the establishment of the AB school network and scored high in examinations of AB subjects.
“The Araratian Baccalaureate is an excellence program, which will be consistently rolled out to schools in Armenia. And thus, today we announced the start of the first phase of this process,” concluded President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.
At the end of the event, the 21 schools that are expected to join the Araratian Baccalaureate school network starting 2018 were awarded certificates testifying to being regarded as Araratian Baccalaureate Candidate Schools, hereinafter.
Cooperation with Monte Melkonyan Military and Training College
Back in 2016, the Ayb Educational Foundation and the Armenian Ministry of Defense started negotiations over rolling out the AB program to Monte Melkonyan Military and Training College. The various discussions and meetings that followed in 2017 specified the cooperation framework.
In May-June, the Ayb Educational Foundation and the Armenian Ministry of Defense finalized approaches to the students’ admission and teacher recruitment. Starting September 1, 2017, the College will deliver the teaching process by the education program jointly developed by the Ayb Educational Foundation.
Semifinal and final of the 7th All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists
On April 22, Ayb School hosted the semifinal and the final of the 7th All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists.
The semifinal had 11 teams from Armenia (Abovyan, Hrazdan, Gyumri, Vanadzor and Yerevan) and Artsakh (Martuni) competed for the winner’s title. The teams debated on a number of interesting topics, including: “How would you explain the sweet taste of materials in terms of chemistry?” or “In the diagnosis of which diseases can the research data of the exhaled air from human lungs be used?”
As a result, only four of the 11 teams made it to the final, and the tough competition between the teams finally revealed the winner: the Oganeson team from Yerevan (Heratsi High School) took first place. Evrika from Vanadzor (Vanadzor Special School with In-Depth Learning of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of RA Ministry of Education and Science) won the second place and was followed by Photon from Gyumri (Photon College) and Sirius from Yerevan (Yerevan High School No. 190 named after Galust Gyulbenkyan) in the third and fourth places, respectively.
“The 7th All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists stood out for the high-level of students’ knowledge, the integrity of solutions to the problems they were given, and the demonstration of strong abilities to give holistic and convincing answers to the competitors’ and jury’s questions,” said Nina Hobosyan, the coordinator of the tournament.
All 11 teams received certificates of participation and prizes, and the top four were also awarded diplomas and presents. To encourage participants, the jury awarded special certificates to the “Best Reporter,” “Best Opponent,” “Best Reviewer” as well as, within each team, “Best Participant” and “Best Captain.”
As a reminder, the quarterfinal of the 7th All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists was held on November 26, 2016. The quarterfinal had an unprecedented number of participants – 43 teams, 208 students and 70 coaches and leaders from Armenia (Kotayk, Ararat, Tavush, Shirak, Gegharkunik, Lori, Armavir and Vayots Dzor regions) and Artsakh (Martuni).
2017 World Robot Olympiad
On July 11, the Ayb Educational Foundation held the national stage of one of the most large-scale robotics competitions, the World Robot Olympiad (WRO), the winner of which became Kaizen team of Ayb Elementary School.
This year, the WRO national stage embraced seven teams from various schools in Armenia. All seven teams competed in pre-selection rounds, after which the final started. The winner of the WRO 2017, Kaizen team, was granted the chance to participate in the WRO international stage in Costa Rica and present Armenia there. By the decision of the jury of the WRO 2017 national stage, the winning team will have two-three months to get ready for the international stage and only after that a final decision will be made whether the team will leave for the international stage or not.
This year, the World Robot Olympiad was held under the theme “Sustainabots: Robots for Sustainability.” The mission this year was to build a robot that makes the region more sustainable in one of the following four goals: affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, climate action, and life on land, thus making the world a better place.
“This is the second time the contest is being held in Armenia. It is highly important to have the geography of participants gradually expand. Today over 21,700 teams from all over the world participate in the WRO and so we also need to take every effort for the number of participants to grow. The high number of participants is accounted by the current robotics trends observed throughout the world. I believe the contest will foster the development of robotics in our country,” said the RA Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Davit Sahakyan.
The WRO 2017 national stage was sponsored by the Creative Educational Technologies (CET), which is the official supplier of LEGO® Education in Armenia.
Release of Kangaroo Math Competition Problems and Solutions 2016 book
In May, the book “Kangaroo Math Competition Problems and Solutions 2016” was published (3,000 copies). Within the framework of the June rewarding ceremonies, this problem book was distributed to all schools and students that participated in Kangaroo 2017 (read more about the rewarding ceremonies below). In total, 2,797 copies have been distributed.
The book will be available for sale starting July.
Rewarding ceremonies for Meghu 2016, Russian Bear Cub 2016, and Kangaroo 2017 contests in Armenia and Artsakh
This year, for the first time, the Ayb Educational Foundation held reward ceremonies for three school contests simultaneously: Meghu – Armenian for All, Russian Bear Cub – Linguistics for All, and Kangaroo international math contest.
The rewarding ceremonies were held from June 5 to 13, in 32 cities in Armenia and Artsakh.
The contests in figures:
40,467 students from 1024 schools participated in the Kangaroo 2017 contest. Five students became winners and they are all boys. 🙂
The “grand” prize for the the winners of Kangaroo Math Contest is the chance to participate in a summer camp abroad. This year, three of the five winners of Kangaroo 2017 will leave for Poland from August 1 to 10 to participate in a summer camp held in Kangaroo Math contest organizing countries.
Note: Only three of the five winners will participate in the camp as one of the winners is too young to participate in the camp, and the other had to leave for the US as he was admitted to Harvard University. These two Kangaroo 2017 winners received other gifts.
36,803 students from 942 schools of Armenia and Artsakh participated in the Meghu 2016 contest. Five students became winners.
8183 students from 300 schools of Armenia and 13 schools in Stepanakert participated in the Russian Bear Cub 2016 contest. There was no winner in the contest.
In total, about 3500 students from Armenia and Artsakh were rewarded prizes this year – 1773 for Kangaroo 2017, 1309 for Meghu 2016, and 396 students for Russian Bear Cub 2016.
Meghu 2017: start of groundwork
The schedule for Meghu 2017 has already been devised. The conditions for the work of Meghu 2017 task developers have been specified. All relevant files, mechanisms and processes for work with experts of Armenian have been prepared. Currently, the development of Meghu 2017 promo materials is underway. In early September, all schools will receive invitation packages inviting to participate in the contest.
Meghu 2017 will be held on October 26.
National Song and Dance Academy (NSDA)
NSDA assumed responsibility for training of teachers of national song and dance subject
On April 20, the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science and the NSDA signed an agreement by which the latter assumed responsibility for the training of teachers of the national song and dance subject.
Training of teachers of national song and dance subject: groundwork and implementation
Starting the 2017-2018 academic year, the national song and dance subject, which has been delivered in schools for already three years now, will be taught at 100 more schools in Yerevan, Armavir, and Vayots Dzor marzes.
In this regard, on June 14-15, workshops and discussions were held for the trainers during which the dance and song specialists (respectively, on June 14 and 15) discussed the peculiarities of the subject delivery, shared their practice and spoke about the general teaching methods. The discussion was followed by the practical part during which the specialists pointed out the more challenging aspects of complicated songs and dances and discussed them.
At the end of the workshop-discussions, the specialists had their names listed as trainers in the three destinations. It was decided the trainings would be held by eight specialists (four dance instructors and four song instructors), who have been working in the field for many years now.
The trainings started on June 19 in Yerevan and in June 26 in Vayots Dzor and Armavir. In total, 100 instructors took part in the trainings. The second round of trainings is scheduled for August 21.
It should be noted that the NSDA is going to hold a training for national song and dance subject instructors as well. It will be held on August 5.
The trained instructors will have a final concert in August during which they will be awarded certificates for teaching the subject.
The teaching material for the 5th grade has also been devised and handed over to teachers. The elaboration of teaching materials for the 6th-7th grades is underway.
Digitization of national song and dance books
A number of books were digitized in the second quarter. These books are already published in the archive space and will be available to public soon.
NSDA website development
The development of the NSDA website is underway. The website will be up and running in the third quarter. The website is being developed by Instigate Design.
Open national dance class in Megerian Carpets
Within the framework of Ayb Club’s three-day events (read more about it here), on June 23, an open national dance class was held in the hall of Megerian hand-woven carpet factory. NSDA supporters, Ayb Club members and other guests took part in the open class.
Gagik Ginosyan – member of International Dance Council
Gagik Ginosyan became a member of International Dance Council (CID) at UNESCO. From July 5 to 9, Gagik Ginosyan will participate in the 50th World Congress on Dance Research in Athens.