Wednesday, November 6 2019 13:37
Asya Balayan

YSU linguistic students protest against the bill on the statute of  the Armenian language in universities.  Ministry of Education  explains.

YSU linguistic students protest against the bill on the statute of  the Armenian language in universities.  Ministry of Education  explains.

ArmInfo. On November 6, students  of the Faculty of Armenian Philology of YSU hold a strike in protest  against the upcoming draft law "On Higher Education and Science",  which was developed by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture  and Sports of the Republic of Armenia.

Note that according to the bill, the Armenian language and  literature, the history of Armenia will not be included in the list  of compulsory disciplines in the curricula of non-core faculties of  universities. Instead, universities will be able to increase hours  devoted to the study of other specialized disciplines.  Students of  Armenian philology at YSU note that today's protest rally is a  warning signal to the ministry, the message of which is that when  making such decisions, the opinions of students and teaching staff  would be taken into account.

Protesting students also said that if the head of the ministry, Araik  Harutyunyan, did not take into account the students' opinions, they  would continue to boycott the classes.  Lecturer of the Faculty of  Armenian Philology of YSU Vardan Petrosyan believes the initiative is  correct and timely, saying that the students' protest is aimed at  protecting the Armenian language - as a national language.

In turn, YSU teacher, a specialist in the ancient Armenian language  (grabar) and journalist Narine Dilbaryan said that there really are a  lot of serious problems in the country, but after the "velvet  revolution" there are more and more questions. <Dissatisfaction is  not unfounded. The new generation is thinking about Armenia, about  where they will work and how to develop>, the teacher explained.

Earlier, in a conversation with ArmInfo, the famous teacher of the  Waldorf School of Yerevan and a teacher of YSU History Department,  art critic Ara Atayan expressed the opinion that the Armenian  language should be studied in universities only if it is  professionally necessary, since there is a 12-year-old school program  very rich in Armenian studies. And each step aimed at improving the  education system should not be faced with the fierce resistance of  conservatives.

Meanwhile, the Ministry promptly responded to the strike of YSU  linguists, noting in its statement that according to the working  draft law of the Republic of Armenia "On Higher Education and  Science", each university has the right, at its discretion, to do or  not do subjects <Armenian language>, <Armenian literature > and  <History of Armenia> are required to study.

<Despite the fact that during the working discussion of the bill,  universities in the country practically did not react with comments  or suggestions, nevertheless, the bill provides wide autonomy to  universities in the development of educational and scientific  programs. Therefore, after the adoption of the law, the Scientific  Council of each university has the right to make its own decision on  this matter. At the same time, the working draft clearly articulates  the principles: the priority of Armenian studies, the training of  specialists for the diaspora in order to develop Armenology and the  dissemination of Armenian cultural heritage, the rooting of national  identity and universal values. It is also envisaged to provide basic  financing to universities in order to preserve and develop scientific  infrastructures. In addition, for admission to any university in  Armenia, RA citizens, regardless of their chosen profession, are  required to pass a single exam in the Armenian language.

Thus, the draft law not only does not reduce the role of Armenian  studies and the Armenian language, but, on the contrary, consolidates  the dissemination of these important values and enhances the training  of relevant specialists>, the ministry said in a statement. 

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