Collateral Damage from War of Words: Fallout from language law leaves international school plans up in the air

A school planned to open in Dilijian and promising to make Armenia a respected center of regional and international study may not ever see a stone laid, due to public reaction over Armenia’s controversial “law on language”, allowing for curriculum to be taught in a foreign language.

The Dilijan International School, the brainchild of Moscow tycoon philanthropist Ruben Vardanyan, broke ground in April with President Serzh Sargsyan planting a “tree of knowledge” to herald the project. Expected to open in 2013, the project now is indefinite, owing to “an atmosphere that rejects” the idea.


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19.07.2010 14:52
Avetis makes the point that Armenians appear to be self-destructive but the real issue is that Armenians do not have a Government they can trust or respect and the government itself is afraid of anyone like Vardanyan upsetting their apple cart by opening the minds of the locals to international influences. An investor like Vardanyan simply wants to bring Armenia into the 21st Century and to encourage other leading Armenians to see the country as a land of opportunity. Look at this Armenian conductor George Pehlivanian conducting the Slovenian National orchestra: There is no reason why Armenia cannot become a center of culture.
18.07.2010 19:14
Who says we Armenians are not a bunch of self-destructive peasants? Taking into concideration the so called "opposition" in Armenia (who think its job is simply to oppose anything the government proposes) and the ignorant masses in and out of the republic - its a wonder we still have an Armenia today... Maybe we should all thank Mother Russia in this regard.
18.07.2010 02:37
Armenian politicians use to create "wrong facts" using the lawlessness in the country after that they change or just pass “laws” biased on there habitués and interests , in order to legalize the illegality. E.g they do first allow all kind of illegal construction around Sevan Sea after the criminal and illegal job is done, they start writing a so called “law” or production environment and Sevan Sea- arguing Sevan Sea could not have the same amount of water as it was the case in 1920´or 1930´s (ect) , a “law” which suites the criminal activities of certain groups- oligarchies. The issue with foreign languages schools is not different – most of people in the country are even not able to speak proper Armenia without using so much foreign terms/words, but foreign language schools are ready to be open there doors, even though there is NO law to allow such a move!- but authorities have a lot of experience to write laws overnight. Following and cheating the nation!
17.07.2010 13:24
God allmighty! Let'e hope M.r Vardanyan, who seems like a forward thinking man, sticks to his guns and decides to build the school. The IB is a world-respected diploma and Armenia is one of the only schools in Europe or Asia that does not have a single school to offer the diploma. What a gift to our country! Armenia is a cultural artistic and educational backwater--it had no good ballet, opera, mediocre contemporary art, a good second tier orchestra and a 3rd rate state university. WAKE UP ARMENIANS and EMBRACE A POSITIVE FORWARD THINKING IDEA instead of wasting all your money on useless churches and corrupt priests!!
17.07.2010 05:18
There is a difference between teaching a second language in schools as part of the curriculum, and teaching an entire curriculum in a foreign language (all subjects and classes in foreign language from 1st grade to college graduation). - The latter meets one of the elements of genocide, the element of raising the children of one group as someone else (stripping of identity and cultural heritage). Foreign embassies would be ready to issue a visa out of the Armenia as the graduation certificate.
17.07.2010 00:05
I see some negativity in this article that is not explained well. If you re-read the article, it seems the investors figured out that why would people travel to rural (but beautiful) Dilijan to teach their kids a foreign language or to get an international degree. This is completely seperate from the debate that is going on about teaching Russian/English and not Armenian... It could be 5% of their decision but the core problem is that the target market is limited and only few people would send their kids. Do you think Dilijantsis wouldn't want 100s of foreign 'rich' kids living in their town and spending money? but the idea doesn't seem viable in northern Armenia. Maybe build some more ski slopes to attract tourist from the Arab world, build a school to attract Iranians or Indians....
16.07.2010 21:37
Every country in the world now teaches and learns more than one language. And guess what other than native language (if it is not English) the second language is almost always the ENGLISH language. Who said the Armenians can not handle more than one language. Wake up people!
16.07.2010 15:47
It is difficult to see who exactly is complaining about Mr Vardanyan's project for an international school in Dilijan? If diasporan Armenians want to travel to Armenia to pay to study Armenian there in a private school, what is the problem? And if local Armenians want to improve their knowledge of English by learning subjects in English, what is the problem with that option? Mr Vardanyan is surely the type of investor Armenia badly needs - someone who is prepared to invest in Armenia's future without expecting anything in return. The Armenian language is not going to be destroyed by a few private schools setting up in Armenia to teach English!
16.07.2010 13:46
Someone in Dilijian uproot that stupid so-called "tree of knowledge" planted by Sargisian.
16.07.2010 13:38
Oh goodie, yeah, Armenians, let's let our country stay backwards. This is insane, here we have a great oppurtunity, and now there's "an atmosphere that rejects" the idea?
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