Tag Archives: Support to EU Courses in Secondary Schools and Universities

On 30 September the Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, the Armenian Minister of Culture, Armen Amiryan, and the Armenian Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Khachik Hakobyan officially launched European Heritage Days 2017 in Armenia. The official opening ceremony was held in Lori marz at the “Sochut Dendropark” and “Lori Fortress” museum under the theme of “Heritage and Nature”.

ARS_1146Pupils from all the marzes of Armenia who have participated in the EU-funded project “Support to EU courses in secondary schools and universities” attended the event and celebrated European Heritage Days in Armenia. In addition to the tour in the Dendropark, the pupils also participated in the “Nature and photography” session, got guidance on how to take photos in nature and took their own photos. These photos are already posted on the Facebook page of the EU Delegation to Armenia and the author of the most “liked” photo will receive a prize. In Lori Fortress all the participants already had the opportunity to have photos in traditional Lori costumes, as souvenirs of European Heritage Day 2017, which will be posted soon on the EU Delegation’s Facebook page.

ARS_1110During the official opening ceremony Ambassador Świtalski thanked everyone for the joint celebration: ‘Armenia is one of 50 countries celebrating European Heritage Days. For us, for the EU, it is an occasion to show how rich Armenia’s contribution to European Heritage is. European culture would be poorer without Armenia’s substantive contribution. European students of architecture are required to study the architecture of Zvartnots Cathedral; European students of music have to study the compositions of Komitas, etc. We want to make this cultural bridge even stronger. We have the intention to launch new cultural programmes’.

ARS_1106Minister Amiryan marked the symbolism of opening European Heritage Days 2017 at the “Sochut Dendropark”, where plants from different parts of the world have had solid roots since 1931: ‘These are exceptional days as a number of institutions will open their doors, buildings that are not available to us every day, but which are part of our heritage. I am convinced that the heritage and nature together create an environment that gives us the opportunity to re-create our love for our homeland again and again’.

During the European Heritage Days in Armenia on 30 September and 1 October 2017, more than 100 cultural organisations and historical and cultural monuments opened their doors. Other cultural offerings included concerts, film screenings, literary and music events, educationally interactive programmes, public discussions and lectures, tree planting, and walking tours.

European Heritage Days are celebrated every year in the 50 European countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention (1954). The idea of the project came up during “Monuments’ Open Doors” initiative launched in France in 1984. In 1991, the Council of Europe officially launched the European Heritage Days with the support of the European Commission. In 1999, this initiative became a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. Over 70,000 events are organised all over Europe every year in order to help raise awareness of Europe’s common heritage and emphasize the importance of continuous preservation of its uniqueness and diversity. See more www.europeanheritagedays.com

On 28 June, Hrazdan High school #13 hosted the final event of the “Support to EU Courses in Secondary Schools and Universities” project. The project is funded by the European Union and implemented in cooperation with the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science.

ARS_1005The project is aimed at expanding teaching on the EU in Armenian secondary schools and higher education institutions, based on the results of the educational component of the EU-funded “Support to the EU communication on reforms in Armenia” project from 2012-2014. Courses on the EU, its institutions, and EU-Armenia cooperation were introduced in 17 secondary schools and 5 higher education institutions across Armenia. The project’s main results included:
• an updated and improved school manual and course programme on the EU recommended by the Armenian Ministry of Education and Science;
• an updated and improved university handbook on the EU; reinforced capacity of teaching staff involved;
• a methodology for students with special learning needs, as well as new student-centred teaching and learning approaches;
• increased awareness and understanding of the EU, its values, policies and institutions, as well as EU-Armenia cooperation, among young Armenians;
• networking opportunities for Armenian schools and universities with counterparts in EU Member States for further cooperation.

ARS_1641The Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, attended the event with EU Member State ambassadors, who were greeted with bread and salt. Pupils and teachers form participant schools also came to Hrazdan, where they gave cultural presentations to the guests. After a short concert, Ambassador Świtalski and other ambassadors toured an information fair held at the school, where different EU countries were presented.

ARS_1151Ambassador Świtalski spoke about the role of the EU in promoting education: ‘I want to thank you all for participating and making this project so important. Europe may look very distant to you, few of you may have ever set foot on the territory of the EU; yet, Europe is very close to Armenia. The EU is the biggest donor to Armenia – the contribution of the EU and its member states amounts to almost 60% of all international assistance delivered to Armenia. The EU is important for Armenia, because a strong European Union is good for all Armenians. I hope very much that the legacy of this project will last for a long time, so that the pupils of schools and students of universities will have the opportunity to learn more about the EU, its history and future. Our mission is to develop your country’.

ARS_1194Nune Vardanyan, the advisor of Levon Mkrtchyan, the Armenian Minister of Education and Science, transferred the Minister’s message: ‘Over the past 15 years, the EU has actively supported reforms in Armenia’s education sector. The scope of that cooperation includes science, school education and secondary vocational education. I think that the “Support to EU Courses in Secondary Schools and Universities” project has allowed them to have a complete picture of the potential of EU educational programmes. Cooperation with the EU will continue, which will give our young people access to quality education’.