A training course for Diaspora Armenian teachers started at Armenian State Pedagogical University on July 1.
Sixty-one teachers from 17 countries are participating in the course that will last until July 27. They will be trained in five groups. Cultural events and sightseeing tours across the country are foreseen under the programme. The Diaspora teachers will be trained by 56 specialists who are mainly from Armenian State Pedagogical University.
ASPU Rector Ruben Mirzakhanyan welcomed the participants and said the University will do everything possible to ensure the quality of the course. “Your work is aimed at preserving the mother tongue and introducing national culture. I assure you that the organizers of this course are well aware of this fact,” he said. He advised the participants to come up with their own suggestions which will help improve the quality of the training, giving it a fresh breath. Mr. Mirzakhanyan also expressed hope that the Diaspora teachers will take the impressions and warmth back to their countries and invest in their everyday activities.
Arayik Harutyunyan, Armenian Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, greeted the participants of the course and emphasized the importance of the training. He said it enables them to get acquainted with the problems existing in the schools of different Diaspora communities and to change the teaching methods accordingly. “You are the main guardians of the language in the Diaspora. By taking the new methods with you to your communities you further reinforce the role of the educational institutions that you represent, he said adding that the Ministry is developing a document that will increase the role of Armenology in the Diaspora.
Zareh Sinanyan, High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, whose children were educated outside Armenia, knows by his own experience how important the Diasporan teacher's work is. “You are doing noble, pro-Armenian work. Now an important course awaits you here,” Zareh Sinanyan said wishing everyone productive work.
The training course will be held at the Spyurq [Diaspora] educational centre of the University.
Professor Suren Danielyan, the Director of the educational centre and Head of the Chair of New and Contemporary Armenian Literature and its Teaching Methods, said they were able to create a solid, united smithery where the target is not only the revelation of the current problems of Diaspora Armenian teachers, but also application of knowledge obtained during the training.
“Today it’s important that we find new ways of preserving our language. The Spyurq [Diaspora] educational centre was entrusted with the task of recreating in-depth training courses,” Mr. Danielyan said. He added that the Diaspora teachers will be able ‘to climb Ararat of Armenian language and literature.’
Ashot Melkonyan, Director of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Science, Doctor of History, Professor at ASPU, is again among the training specialists. He says the course has an important goal and mission. I often visit different countries around the world and the three institutions I am sure to visit are school, church and embassy. In each and every school I see the same children as in our homeland, but they bear another language and have longing eyes. “You do tremendous work by enriching those children’s inner world with national spirit and values,” he stressed. Mr Melkonyan hailed the efforts of the Ministry and ASPU in forming pan-Armenian thinking, ideology and outlook.
Aelita Dolukhanyan, Head of the Chair of Old and Medieval Armenian Literature and its Teaching Methods at ASPU, Associate Member of the RA NAS, thinks it’s right to hold such training courses at the Pedagogical University and cited Armenologist Jean-Pierre Mahé: “If you want to know who Armenians are, you should read “Wounds of Armenia” by Khachatur Abovian.” “We follow the message of the Enlightener, we are for advancement, and we sow universal approaches in students,” she said.