Education: Official says new reform will advance vocational training in Armenia

Deputy Minister of Education and Science Ara Avetisyan says reforms are underway in the field of vocational education – as many as 12 colleges have been included in the program and all of them have already been renovated and furnished.

“They not only provide vocational education, but also offer retraining on the basis of the existing labor market demands,” said the education official at a news conference on Tuesday.

According to the data of the Ministry of Education and Science, as many as 115 state-run educational institutions of elementary and intermediate-level vocational education as well as 23 non-governmental vocational institutions now function in Armenia.

In general, processes in the education sphere have resulted in teachers’ training being ousted from the vocational training sector, since, according to the deputy minister, “pedagogical universities providing higher education cover the field.” According to him, a similar trend is also observed in vocational institutions offering training in “medical jobs”.

According to Avetisyan, engineering and technical service skills have been more widely taught at vocational training schools, which reflects the current labor market demand.

“No separate entrance examinations for initial and secondary specialized educational institutions will be held this year. A school graduate who passes the “united” or final school exams will also have an opportunity to participate in the process of entering colleges,” said Avetisyan, adding that 9th-grade graduates (i.e. those not joining high school) may get an opportunity to receive vocational education on the basis of their 9th-grade final exam if a given college carries out education on the basis of secondary school.

“We should reach a stage when a good professional with vocational qualifications will indeed be required on the market,” said Avetisyan, adding that in that case job announcements will not invite only “young and good-looking girls”, but will rather summon people with particular skills.