Choose Careers Wisely: Experts say not enough students choose vocational training

The Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia is concerned over a possible imbalance resulting from the number of higher-education graduates compared to the numbers coming out of vocational training schools.

Of 167,000 students in Armenia now, 37,000 are in vocational training at 112 schools and colleges, resulting in lack of specialists in the sphere of tourism, service, and some others. According to international standards, a healthy society needs 10 service people per each person trained in a high-level specialty.

“People prefer studying at higher educational institutions, spending a lot of money, and later they again spend money to become a barber or a jeweler,” says Marine Hakobyan, NA Standing Committee on Eduction expert in vocational training and education.

Even though there has been a special law on “Preliminary Professional and Middle Vocational Education” since 2005 regulating the sphere, visible changes were made only during recent years. In 2007, the European Commission and the Government of Armenia signed an agreement, according to which conditions at vocational training schools must be improved before 2012.

“Twelve special collages were chosen in Armenia; in 2008-2009, 2.8 billion drams ($7,783,933) was assigned for their renovation and technical equipment. Besides, 2,200 teachers and 250 heads were trained to work there. This year, an additional 1.6 billion drams ($4,432,132) will be invested,” says Robert Abrahamyan, Head of the Vocational Training Department of the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia.

Particular emphasis will be given to tourism, Information Technology and general services.