National Program for Educational Excellence
Continuation of works aimed at the international recognition of the Araratian Baccalaureate certificate
In the first quarter of the 2018, works aimed at the international recognition of the Araratian Baccalaureate certificate have continued. Within the framework of these works, the recognition team has carried out negotiations directly with universities, particularly, the universities where the students of Ayb School, the first school offering the Araratian Baccalaureate, have applied. As a result, the following universities have accepted the AB in the first quarter:
- Leiden University, The Netherlands
- Minerva Art Academy, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands
- Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Honkong
- Concordia University, Canada
- King’s College London, UK
- University College London (UCL), UK
- University of Edinburgh, UK
- University of Sheffield, UK
- Leeds Beckett University, UK
- University of Cambridge, UK
As of the end of the first quarter of 2018, the number of universities accepting the AB certificate is 36. Recognition works continue.
AB Teacher Professional Development and Certification Program: 2017-2018 Cycle
In the first quarter, the following works have been carried out within the framework of the AB Teacher Professional Development and Certification Program:
- From January 22 to February 2, the program’s senior expert trainers toured all regions in Armenia and Stepanakert to observe the lessons of the program participants and see how skillfully, effectively and targeted the teachers use the skills and knowledge they have acquired during the program.
- From March 26 to 29, participants presented their professional inquiries, which they had conducted in the classrooms by applying in practice the new knowledge, skills and teaching methods they had acquired during the program.
To attend the presentations of the professional inquiries, five leading specialists from the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE) were in Yerevan in the period of March 26-29; apart from being present at the presentations, four of the specialists also held subject training sessions for all the participants. Thus, from March 26 to 29, Armenia hosted the following specialists from the UCL IoE:
- Dr. Jacek Brant, who watched the entire process of presenting the professional inquiries to evaluate the program progress and results;
- Dr. John Yandell, who conducted subject training for Armenian language and literature teachers and specialists;
- Jennie Golding, who conducted subject training for mathematics teachers and specialists;
- Dr. Arthur Chapman, who conducted subject training for history teachers and specialists;
- Dr. Mark Hardman, who conducted subject training for teachers and specialists of sciences.
Deputy Minister of Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia Davit Sahakyan as well as Head of the Preschool and Secondary Education Department Susanna Azatyan and Head of the Legal Department of the Staff Lusine Grigoryan were also present at the presentations.
AB Teacher Professional Development and Certification Program: 2018-2019 Cycle
On February 1, the new call for applications for participation in the Araratian Baccalaureate (AB) Teacher Professional Development and Certification program completed.
The new call was opened on December 3, 2017 for teachers and specialists of eight subjects: Armenian language and literature, Armenian history, physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, chemistry, English, and Russian.
Overall, 256 specialist teachers from Armenia and Artsakh filled in the application form.
On February 18, 226 applicants who had met the requirements took a centralized subject test in Yerevan and Vanadzor. Only 76 of them overcame the test and they were further invited for an individual interview.
The interviews were conducted from March 12 to 30. This phase will be summed up in the first half of April and the applicants, irrespective of whether they are being involved in the program or not, will be notified about the final decision on April 20.
AB School Leadership Development Program
In summer 2017, the Ayb Educational Foundation, in collaboration with the University College London (UCL) Institute of Education (IoE), embarked on the elaboration of the AB School Leadership Development Program.
In the first quarter, works aimed at the program elaboration have continued. Within the framework of these works, from January 21 to 27, the team of the Araratian Baccalaureate School Development and Coordination Department was in Great Britain to meet with leading school leadership development specialists from the UCL Institute of Education.
The meetings focused on the program content, goals and leadership development areas, which mostly referred to the elaboration of vision and strategy for improving schools, management of systemic changes, establishment of collaboration with the parents and community, etc.
Further on, from March 20 to 22, leadership specialists from the UCL IoE Anthony Richardson, Karen Spence-Thomas and Vanda Tillotson paid a visit to Armenia. The meeting was aimed at discussing and finalizing the components of the leadership development program, its areas, assessment tools and methods. While in Armenia, the specialists also had meetings with the principals of several AB candidate schools, to have a talk with them, and to get acquainted with the Armenian context of state schools and their peculiarities.
The program development will be completed in April. It will officially start in Yerevan on May 11 and will be free of charge for all program participants, i.e. AB candidate school principals and vice-principals. The face-to-face training sessions envisaged by the program will be delivered by UCL IoE leadership specialists Karen Spence-Thomas and Vanda Tillotson, with support from Armenian facilitators.
Works within the framework of collaboration between the Ayb Educational Foundation and Children of Armenia Fund
In the first quarter, the following works have been carried out within the framework of the collaboration that began between the Ayb Educational Foundation and Children of Armenia Fund in November:
- Online English lessons for those participants of the AB Teacher Professional Development Program who reside in Armenian regions. A total of 33 participants expressed the wish to take these lessons. The online learning began in January-February and will continue until late summer. The English lessons are organized by the Children of Armenia Fund and the US Embassy in Armenia.
- On February 27, the Ayb Educational Foundation and the Children of Armenia Fund held a meeting-seminar for the representatives of 21 AB candidate schools, which was aimed at raising the role of school psychologists and boosting career counseling activities in schools. Around 40 participants, including school principals, vice-principals, psychologists and teachers, participated in the seminar. The meeting was conducted by psychologists and career counseling specialists from Ayb School, the Ayb Educational Foundation, and the Children of Armenia Fund.
- Development of document on the concept of the healthy school. In March, the elaboration of the document on the concept of the healthy school was completed. Works to this end began in December 2017. The document highlights four main areas of the healthy schools, which include safe and secure physical environment, healthy food, boosting physical activity and securing favorable psychological-social climate. The document will be sent to AB candidate schools this spring.
Kangaroo 2018: the contest was held
On March 15, more than 43500 schoolchildren from 1070 schools in Armenia and Artsakh tested their skills in mathematics and logic in this math contest organized by the Ayb Educational Foundation. This year, the contest was held under the slogan “From the Unknown to the Definite.”
“We are very happy that in the past 10 years we have been not only promoting this important subject, but have also bestowing a feast upon such a big number of students. In this anniversary year, students from different schools share their joy with us, through morning performances, small events, and congratulations,” said Shoushan Karapetyan, Head of the Contests Department at the Ayb Educational Foundation.
The final number of Kangaroo 2018 prizewinners will be known in the second half of May.
Other works within the framework of Kangaroo Math Contest
2017 Kangaroo Problems and Solutions book
Works aimed at the development of the 2017 Kangaroo Problems and Solutions book have continued in the first quarter. The book will be released in May and will be distributed as a gift to all schools participating in the Kangaroo 2018 Contest as well as prizewinners. The book will be available for purchase in June, once the Kangaroo 2018 award ceremonies are completed.
Meghu 2017: the results were summed up
In January, the results of Meghu 2017 were summed up and reports on the results of their students have been sent to all participating schools.
Meghu 2017 has around 1200 prizewinners. Among them there are possible winners and
according to the contest’s rules, Meghu contest organizers should meet with these children to check the authenticity of their work. This will be completed in May and will be followed by the release of the final list of Meghu 2017 prizewinners.
It should be recalled that Meghu 2017 was held on October 27: more than 38,000 students from 991 schools in Armenia and Artsakh participated in the contest.
Russian Bear Cub 2017: the results were summed up
In January, the results of the Russian Bear Cub 2017 were summed up and reports on the results of their students were sent to all participating schools.
Russian Bear Cub 2017 has around 450 prizewinners. Among them there is a possible winner and according to the contest’s rules, the organizers should meet with the child to check the authenticity of their work. This will be completed in May and will be followed by the release of the final list of the Russian Bear Cub 2017 prizewinners.
It should be recalled that the Russian Bear Cub 2017 was held on October 27: 8900 students from 339 schools in Armenia and Artsakh participated in the contest.
Award ceremonies for Kangaroo 2018, Meghu 2017 and Russian Bear Cub 2017 will be held in June.
Groundwork for the semifinal and final of the 2017-2018 All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists
In the first quarter, groundwork for the semifinal and final of the 2017-2018 All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists has continued.
The semi-final and the final will be held in May and this year the tournament will be sponsored by Converse Bank CJSC.
The quarterfinal of the 8th All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists was held on November 25. Around 200 young chemists representing 40 teams from Armenia and Artsakh took part in the tournament. Only 13 advanced to the semifinal.
World Robot Olympiad 2018
In February, letters inviting schools to participate in the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) 2018 were sent to schools in Armenia and Artsakh. These letters have been sent to a total of 1294 schools.
During the first quarter, meetings were held with a number of institutions and organizations, including World Vision Armenia, Ohanyan College in Yerevan and Tumo Center for Creative Technologies to discuss possible collaboration within the framework of the WRO.
This year, the contest will be held in early July.
National Song and Dance Academy
The National Song and Dance Academy Educational and Cultural Foundation carried out the following important activities during the first quarter of 2018:
- On February 18, the representatives of the National Song and Dance Academy and Karin traditional song and dance ensemble, led by Gagik Ginosyan, visited (together with Ayb School) the Military and Sports College after Monte Melkonyan, where the Aybar dance group and the Karin traditional song and dance ensemble performed military dances followed by a dance class. Besides, it was agreed with the college to include the military dance subject in the syllabus for 10th-11th grade students.
- On February 26, a meeting was organized with the RA Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan. The works conducted in 2017 within the framework of training for the teachers in national song and dance and the results of the training were presented at the meeting. By the proposal of the RA Minister of Education and Science, two working groups were established, engaged in two main areas. One of the groups actively develops the program for introducing the national song and dance subject, and the other group works on popularization of the program.
- In the first quarter, the works of translating the website of the National Song and Dance Academy into Russian and English languages started. The official launch of the website is scheduled for the second quarter of 2018.
Khan Academy Armenia
The Armenian office of Khan Academy is a project aimed at translation and creation of electronic resources, implemented by the Ayb Educational Foundation in cooperation with the Intellectual Renaissance Foundation. The project is being implemented in Armenia since July 2017.
In the first quarter of 2018, the office was focused not only on establishment of new resources, but also on consideration of possible options for cooperation.
Discussions on cooperation
During the first quarter of 2018, the team of Khan Academy Armenia met with several institutions and organizations, including Children of Armenia Fund and PicsArt to discuss possible options fօr support or collaboration.
Activities of the Armenian office of Khan Academy on the online platform
- In December 2017 and January 2018, the first sections of Pre-Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra were opened on the website, and new videos were added in these sections during the next two months.
- 15,284 views on YouTube were recorded in March.
- As of the end of the first quarter, 1010 videos on mathematics are available on YouTube.
- 15,758 people visited the website from March 16 to April 5, with an average of 1,318 users per week.
Formula for Success project
In collaboration with Yerevan Productions, the Ayb Educational Foundation resumed the Formula for Success project, which used to enjoy high demand among the public.
It is a series of free master classes delivered by successful specialists and entrepreneurs with the goal of presenting to the Armenian audience the true stories of success and the personal experience of the speakers, unveil the constituent parts and secrets of success, and foster the self-education and professional development of the Armenian youth.
In the period of January-March, the project hosted the following speakers:
- Artavazd Mehrabyan and Michael Vardanyan (Directors at PicsArt); topic: Harnessing the Team Power;
- Hovik Musayelyan (Director at Synopsys Armenia CJSC); topic: Priorities for Entrepreneurship Development;
- Hayk Faramazyan (General Director at Rostelecom Armenia); topic: Rules to Success in Business.
It should be noted that as of March 31, 12 master classes have been held. Read more about this here.
Goodwill Dinner project
The Goodwill Dinner project kicked off in mid-October. Within the framework of the project, charity meeting-dinners are organized with leading experts and famous people and the raised amount is used for the scholarship funds for students from Armenian regions and Artsakh studying in Ayb High School.
In January-March period, the project hosted the following guests:
- Ariana Caoili, chess player, adviser to the Armenian PM;
- Hovik Musayelyan, Director at Synopsys Armenia;
- Ruben Harutyunyan, businessman, Founder and General Director of Henderson Group of Companies;
- Allan Kleynhans, performance coach and trainer;
- Davit Pakhchanyan, Deputy Defense Minister of Armenia;
- Ruben Vardanyan, businessman and donor, Co-Founder of the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation;
- Hayk Yesayan, General Director of Ucom.
Thanks to the seven goodwill dinners held in the first quarter, a total of AMD 3,305,000 have been raised.
Since the launch of the project to date (as of March 31), 16 goodwill dinners have been held and a total of AMD 6,097,615 have been raised.