‘B’ is for Brawl: Applicants and parents clash with police at entrance exams

A minor skirmish broke out between police and university applicants and parents Tuesday at Yerevan State Engineering University on the first day of entrance exams in mathematics. No one was detained and no injuries were reported.

According to witnesses, monitors of the exam collected tests 15 minutes earlier than the announced cutoff period, angering students and parents who – as is custom – waited anxiously outside the hall.

One applicant told ArmeniaNow that answer sheets were abruptly collected, followed by parents entering and demanding explanation. The student said some threw plastic bottles at the officials.

Manuk Mkrtchyan, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Armenia, refuted all the accusations, saying that, in fact, there was a fight only with one applicant and one parent.

“Everything passed peacefully, and there was not any clash at all. One child [applicant] started asking other children [next to him] questions, and that is why his answer sheet was taken from him. Later his parent and some other parents, who did not know what had happened inside, a bit emotionally provoked a conflict, but enforcement arrived, settled everything peacefully and left,” Mkrtchyan said.

About 18,000 applicants are applying for 20,500 spots at state universities this year, meaning that all students who get at least satisfactory marks will have an opportunity to enter a state university. (depending on the faculty in which they wish to enroll).