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Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Armenia

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  • Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Armenia

    Groundbreaking: New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Armenia and region



    By Gayane Abrahamyan
    ArmeniaNow reporter

    Comments are welcomed and encouraged. However, comments not pertaining to the topic or containing slander or offensive language will be deleted. You have to be registered to be able leave your comment. Sign in or Register now for free.
    An international boarding school for 13-18 year-olds, the first of its kind in the region, will open in 2013, in the lap of the beautiful nature of Dilijan, a resort town in northern Armenia about 60 miles (about 100 km) away from capital Yerevan. The founders of the school say by its level and quality the school will not yield to similar international schools abroad.

    The establishment of the Dilijan International School of Armenia (http://www.dilijanschool.org) meant for about 600 pupils was initiated by Moscow-based businessman Ruben Vardanyan, Chairman of the Board of Troika Dialog, a large investment bank and asset management firm in Russia and the CIS.

    Vardanyan describes the project, which costs an estimated $35 million, as “ambitious”, a project that “will not be profit-making, but is a necessary investment for Armenia.”


    “There is no such school in the whole post Soviet territory and we’ve decided that if we are to do it, then we should do it at the highest level, that we will choose the best teachers from abroad, about 60 teachers, and the most effective curricula in order to give the best education possible,” says Vardanyan’s wife, member of the school’s Board of Trustees Veronika Zonabend.

    The school complex, besides the four-storied building of a gymnasium and several residential cottages, will include two indoor and outdoor gyms, tennis courts, swimming pools, an indoor and outdoor concert hall for 600 spectators and orchards.

    President Serzh Sargsyan, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony on April 9, and together with Vardanyan planted the symbolic “tree of science” in the school’s apple orchard, considers the project to be “unprecedented.”

    “I am grateful to Mr. Vardanyan and his wife for initiating such an unprecedented project. We are a small nation and can have success only due to quality and it [quality] is possible to achieve through good education and knowledge,” said President Sargsyan.

    The teaching language for main subjects at school will be English. Not only Armenians, but also children of other nationalities will be invited to study there, according to Vardanyan. The businessman says the education quality at the school will be such that its graduates will be able to enter the world’s best universities.

    The school is expected to open in September 2013, and the summer camp affiliated with the school will open in June the same year.

    “The idea of building the school emerged in a very simple way. Our children were growing up and we wished to send them to summer camps of Armenia so that their bonds with the Motherland became stronger. However, there was no establishment that would correspond to such international standards,” says Vardanyan.

    Zonabend adds that from the very beginning it was planned to establish a summer camp, however later they saw a demand for such a school.

    “When we developed the business plan, we understood that huge construction work would be carried out and it will be used for only a few months, now we’ve learned also that many children from Armenia are sent to study at Regent’s School in Thailand and thought: ‘Why go to Thailand if we could provide the same or perhaps better quality here as well?’,” says Zonabend.

    The importance of the establishment of such a school is also emphasized by Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan. He describes the idea of establishing the school as “a display of great patriotism.”

    According to the minister, a few dozen children a year are sent to study at similar schools in Europe; only last year 18 children left for Thailand to study at Regent’s School.

    The school, of course, will require a fee to study. The size of the fee has yet to be decided. But according to Zonabend, fees there will be a little lower than international fees for similar schools, about $10,000 a year. The school founders, at the same time, promise that a special charity foundation will be established to provide scholarships to talented children and the number of such pupils will make about 30 percent.
    Last edited by Tigranakert; 04-12-2010, 11:32 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

    Amazing project, thank you Mr. Rouben Vardanian, a true Armenian patriot! If all goes well (and believe me, under Ruben Vardanian ALL goes well), this would definitely give a boost to Armenia's education system, especially if children from other countries come to study and experience in Armenia.

    This kind of news just makes my day, ajo mer [email protected] kamanc kamanc zarganuma.

    Armenians now are lucky, can you imagine, for hundreds of years we did not have a real independent nation, and now, how lucky we are, we HAVE an independent nation where we can live and prosper. It is up to US to make Armenia what we want it to become. We have to bring our experience from the Diaspora back to Armenia and meet our Armenian obligation, not wait and sit until everything is ''oke''.

    Can't wait to repatriate, soon.
    Last edited by Tigranakert; 04-12-2010, 11:31 AM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

      Great news indeed! I will look into sending my son there when it opens.
      Hayastan or Bust.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

        Architectural Concept

        http://www.dilijanschool.org/?id=359&cat=68

        Beautiful

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

          What could have been an extremely succesful and important project for Armenia, is likely to be canceled, a real pity. I blame the Dilijian International School for not taking on the challenge and quitting so fast and the Armenian people who are only good at criticizing and nothing else.

          Yes I agree, I am against dozens of foreign-language schools, but some specialized schools like the Dilijian International School could give a boost to specialized education which could attract foreign non-Armenians and other Diaspora-Armenians to study in the Republic of Armenia.

          I hope someway or another the project will move on...


          Authors of “Dilijan International School” considering room to suspend project implementation


          YEREVAN, July 15. /ARKA/. Authors of “Dilijan International School” are considering ways to suspend the project implementation.

          In their open letter sent to the president-affiliated public council, they say that their decision was prompted by the planned amendments to the law on language.

          “Dilijan International School”, is a private benevolent project, one of Armenian National Competitiveness Fund’s programs.
          Over $60 million is estimated to be invested for this project implementation.

          The government-proposed amendments encountered a strong public opposition.

          The authors of the project think that fierce debates broke out in the country have stricken hard at the school’s image.

          The amendments implying the opening of foreign language schools in Armenia were passed by the National Assembly at the first reading on June 24, 2010.

          Some political parties and non-governmental organizations were strongly opposed to the initial version of the bill, fearing it could affect national mentality.

          Taking into account the public discontent, the government has corrected the project and proposed the opening of 11 foreign language schools instead of 15 implied earlier.

          Nine of them will be state-owned schools and two private – in Jermuk and Dilijan.

          The authors of the letter think these amendments have created adverse environment for the project and find them not necessary for successful implementation of their project.

          They think the current version of the law will make it more complicated Armenia citizens’ children to obtain secondary education in this school.

          “Unfortunately, we are now considering room for suspending the project implementation,” the authors of the project said in their letter. “We find it wrong to develop the project in hostile environment.”

          They are convinced that the present Armenia needs no such a school.

          “That is why, at the next meeting of council, we will propose to discuss room for possible implementation of this project elsewhere outside of Armenia’s territory.

          The up-to-international-standards Dilijan school was intended for children from other countries.

          The school was planned to host 600 children, of which 200 Armenian citizens.

          The project implied scholarships from benevolent organizations and individual donors for about 80% of the school students.
          The school graduates would receive international bachelor diplomas.

          It was planned that Armenian language would be taught here along with English and other languages. --0--

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

            In past Russian kings spoke in French (instead of “second grade” ones) in Russian palace with their "intelligent" Russian and foreign counterparts.

            Now our "elite" will be able to compete with Russians, spending just $10,000, which is nothing for them.

            Astonishing!!!
            Last edited by gegev; 07-15-2010, 12:58 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

              Originally posted by gegev View Post
              In past Russian kings spoke in French (instead of “second grade” ones) in Russian palace with their "intelligent" Russian and foreign counterparts.

              Now our "elite" will be able to compete with Russians, spending just $10,000, which is nothing for them.

              Astonishing!!!
              What is your point actually? Armenian kings of old spoke Greek and Persian at their courts, in the Kingdom of Cilicia the court was speaking French and Latin and Greek like the rest of the European courts. So please tell me what your point is?

              The only thing I see here is Armenian children not getting a good education, Armenia losing an investment and a place where many people could work because of some pig headed people.
              You should never argue with idiots because they will just drag you down to their level....then beat you with experience!!!!!!!

              "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

                Originally posted by Tigranakert View Post
                What could have been an extremely succesful and important project for Armenia, is likely to be canceled, a real pity. I blame the Dilijian International School for not taking on the challenge and quitting so fast and the Armenian people who are only good at criticizing and nothing else.

                Yes I agree, I am against dozens of foreign-language schools, but some specialized schools like the Dilijian International School could give a boost to specialized education which could attract foreign non-Armenians and other Diaspora-Armenians to study in the Republic of Armenia.

                I hope someway or another the project will move on...


                Authors of “Dilijan International School” considering room to suspend project implementation


                YEREVAN, July 15. /ARKA/. Authors of “Dilijan International School” are considering ways to suspend the project implementation.

                In their open letter sent to the president-affiliated public council, they say that their decision was prompted by the planned amendments to the law on language.

                “Dilijan International School”, is a private benevolent project, one of Armenian National Competitiveness Fund’s programs.
                Over $60 million is estimated to be invested for this project implementation.

                The government-proposed amendments encountered a strong public opposition.

                The authors of the project think that fierce debates broke out in the country have stricken hard at the school’s image.

                The amendments implying the opening of foreign language schools in Armenia were passed by the National Assembly at the first reading on June 24, 2010.

                Some political parties and non-governmental organizations were strongly opposed to the initial version of the bill, fearing it could affect national mentality.

                Taking into account the public discontent, the government has corrected the project and proposed the opening of 11 foreign language schools instead of 15 implied earlier.

                Nine of them will be state-owned schools and two private – in Jermuk and Dilijan.

                The authors of the letter think these amendments have created adverse environment for the project and find them not necessary for successful implementation of their project.

                They think the current version of the law will make it more complicated Armenia citizens’ children to obtain secondary education in this school.

                “Unfortunately, we are now considering room for suspending the project implementation,” the authors of the project said in their letter. “We find it wrong to develop the project in hostile environment.”

                They are convinced that the present Armenia needs no such a school.

                “That is why, at the next meeting of council, we will propose to discuss room for possible implementation of this project elsewhere outside of Armenia’s territory.

                The up-to-international-standards Dilijan school was intended for children from other countries.

                The school was planned to host 600 children, of which 200 Armenian citizens.

                The project implied scholarships from benevolent organizations and individual donors for about 80% of the school students.
                The school graduates would receive international bachelor diplomas.

                It was planned that Armenian language would be taught here along with English and other languages. --0--

                Sad news indeed. I think the hostility the developers to be incountered was unexpected to them. I think a limited number of such schools would be of great service to the people of Armenia in creating new jobs and improving the level of education in the country.
                Hayastan or Bust.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

                  Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                  Sad news indeed. I think the hostility the developers to be incountered was unexpected to them. I think a limited number of such schools would be of great service to the people of Armenia in creating new jobs and improving the level of education in the country.
                  Armenia and the people need to change if they want investors to come to Armenia and start investing.
                  You should never argue with idiots because they will just drag you down to their level....then beat you with experience!!!!!!!

                  "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" Voltaire

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Groundbreaking-New school in Dilijan to provide unique learning experience in Arm

                    Originally posted by KarotheGreat View Post
                    Armenia and the people need to change if they want investors to come to Armenia and start investing.
                    First and foremost, Armenia needs to stay Armenia, not in name, but IN SPIRIT. Thus, it becomes necessary for Armenian to be the primary language of education in Armenia. English is taught starting from the third grade, so there are no problems there.

                    That $60 million that has been supposedly invested in the project can bring much more fruition if Armenian scientists are given funds to better concentrate on their work. Funding for science in Armenia is still very, very small.

                    Frankly, having 400 "outside" people studying in Dilijan will NOT make Armenian children get a better education.

                    Just for your information, because I'm sure you are ignorant to this fact, there are two very very good schools in Yerevan, named Phys-Math and Anania-Shirakaci that specialize in math and sciences. There is also a Phys-Math in Artsakh. It takes less than 1/2 million US dollars to fund each school (which is free of charge to all students who get accepted). That $60 would be enough to support 8 more such schools for 30 years, which would be a much better investment in bettering education in Armenia, than a foreign language school.

                    During the soviet times Phys-Math was one of the top schools in the entire Soviet-Union and not much has changed since then. It is at the moment funded by a french-Armenian charity. Who gives a crap about some "foreign language school"? I'd say all that money will be better invested in specialized high-schools and better funding for research. That will have a much more lasting effect on the Armenian economy, than 400 foreign students living in Armenia.

                    Comment

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