IT Homework: New system helps parents keep up with children’s class work via internet

Information technologies are gradually replacing busy Armenian parents’ traditional visits to schools and telephone conversations with teachers.

By visiting website, parents can monitor their children’s school work, see attendance, marks, average grade for each subject and the results of written works in dozens of schools in Yerevan. Parents have access to website by cards, paying 2,000 drams (about $6) per month.

A password is created for each schoolchild to ensure confidentiality.

The program which ran as an experiment in two public schools of 200 in Armenia – School #114, and School # 117 – last year, is currently working at 30 schools. Program officials won’t say how many subscribers they have, but there are 23,000 potential parents who can apply to this service.

The founders of the program are two young people who studied the Europe and the United States’ experience of world educational system and decided to introduce this program in Armenia.

“In fact, this program is unique, because abroad this control is done by each school separately, but we have created a network for all schools, which can be expanded,” Suren Aloyan, co-founder of the program, told ArmeniaNow.

Aloyan is sure that the program first of all eases parents’ work, and he routinely receives suggestions for upgrading the service. Some parents want to see classroom video, but aloyan says current unreliable internet in Armenia makes that possibility impossible.

Hasmik Hovhannisyan, deputy principal of school # 8 in Yerevan (which has 1,700 students, 300 parents of which apply to website), says that it is especially important for parents to have the counted average marks.

“It was the most difficult work for every teacher in the end of each year,” Hovhannisyan told ArmeniaNow.

She is not worried that parents would not attend the quarter meetings, because not everything can be registered and posted on the website.

The system offers discounts to single-parent families or to families having several students.

Armen Ashotyan, Minister of Education and Science of Armenia, says that the ministry highly praises the existence of such a program especially in terms of corruption control, however, the ministry at the moment is only ready to provide free access of the “” employees to schools.

The final goal of the organizers is to make the program applicable throughout Armenia, and to get a state status for the program, and only in this case the program will become affordable for all parents.