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Pre-school Project

In 2010, we made a start in Haykavan with pre-school education in Armenia. After consultation with the school and the major of Haykavan, we decided that we will be working with three institutes for childcare after schooltime. These institutes are situated in villages around Gyumri in the northern region Shirak Mar: Haykavan, Voskehask and Amasya. Soon we received the request from our partner Crossing Roads in Vanadzor, located in the nearby region Lori Marz, to participate with three schools: their own day-care centre and schools in Qarintsj and Debed. In the summer of 2012, the schools from Azatan, Nahapetavan and Qeti in Shirak Marz joined the pre-school project.

We started pre-school education in Armenia because children in Armenia are not going to primary school before the age of six. And not so long ago, the children werenít going to school before the age of seven! In 2010, the government accepted a law which states that pre-school education will be made compulsory. But so far, the government hasnít invested any money in carrying out this law.
During our work, we often have a feeling that people react passively when they are expected to show their own initiative. Sometimes we consider this to be rather frustrating.

Some persons concerned in the pre-school-project

All the more reason why little children, under the guidance of their teacher, need to learn how to take responsibility for their own planning. By working together with the receiving primary school intensively, we hope that this line of thought will be continued in the primary schools.

In our opinion, it is of great importance that the Armenian culture and way of thought is going to be interwoven in the project. Of course the Dutch model will be adapted by the inhabitants of the villages where the project is running. We attach importance to the stories and music of the rich Armenian history. The pupils going to the primary schools receive a hand-painted sculpture of an Armenian king or queen, as a keepsake.

In the summer and fall of 2011 and the summer of 2012, the foundation alvan tsarik took care of trainings so that the nursery school teachers could familiarize oneself with handle things differently. About fifty nursery school teachers and teachers of the first two forms of the primary school worked enthusiastic at a year program for the pre-school and the furnishing of corners. And among other things they also learned how to work with a board of choice. On the very last day of the course, all participants visited each otherís schools and make comments on what they saw. In the autumn of 2011, we asked the Dutch nursery school teachers Annie Harmsen and Corrie van Kraaij from Didam to assist at the training. These two women also gave instructions to the participating Armenian teachers.

To preserve the solidarity and make interaction between professionals possible, we will organise a meeting with all participants of the trainings on every last Friday of the month. Under the leadership of our coordinator Lusine Voskanyan, problems will be presented and discussed. This is the standard procedure in the Netherlands, but in the Armenian context things are different. The cooperation between villages is poor and public discussions are very unusual. People are afraid to lose their jobs and therefore they cover up weak spots rather than talking about them.

A new building for the pre-school in Voskehask

To enable the start of our project and to motivate the primary schools for the pre-school project, we sent a number of big containers with goods to Armenia each year, in total about seven pieces. The containers contained things like school furniture of all sizes, cupboards, blackboards, educational materials and picture books.

To see how this project was realized you can take a look at the various movies the concerned people uploaded to Youtube in the mean time.
You need some good will to make up your own comment; the Armenian language is hardly understood by Dutch people and I guess by English-speaking people as well...

Take a look at the pictures that were made during the loading of the 40 ft container with school materials in May, 2011.