How to create a successful educational project

Vice-President of ABBYY and Director of AYB School (Yerevan, Armenia) Aram Pakhchanyan shares his formula for success and tells how to change society's attitude to education

Aram Pakhchanyan stands at the origins of ABBYY Software House software producing company. ABBYY best-known for its Optical Character Recognition technologies and ABBYY Lingvo Dictionary. In 2014 Aram Pakhchanyan ceased his active involvement in ABBYY company to take the lead of AYB School, remaining as deputy director of ABBYY. AYB School was founded by AYB Educational Foundation, and was opened in 2011. In a way, it differs from other educational institutions of Armenia. Each AYB School student has an individual education programme, which consists of core and elective subjects. The main subjects are taught on standard and advanced levels. Much attention is paid to language learning

My family is my most successful project

In my life, several large-scale projects have become a reality. Firstly, it is my family; there is no project of more importance in my life. Secondly, establishment of ABBYY company, which started as a small Moscow-based company, and is now a large and extensive international company, and, finally, the AYB, one of the founders of which I am, then becoming the director of the school.

Project should seem incredible: doing credible things is easy

In order to have a successful project, one should truly believe in success and do what he/she is ready to devote himself/herself. It is not a secret, but a truth, that was known long before, but there is a need to remind about it again and again. Best human qualities should be attracted. One should always try to find people who, in his/her perception, are better than him/her. The project must serve the people, be meaningful and bring something good to the world. Only in this case there will be followers, customers, loyal employees and continuity. 

The project should be ambitious and seem almost incredible. Doing credible things is easy, but they have no value and are not encouraging. Along with all these, every step of the project should be well-designed to avoid unnecessary waste of resources, and intermediate goals should be clear and convincing.

Society should be the owner of education

Activities of AYB are close to any family with children of school age. Thats why we were in the focus of public attention. People are concerned about the issue of education, and our goal is not only to solve the existing problems, but also to change the society's attitude to education, make the passive anxiety turn into active participation. It is our ultimate goal, because the education sector will have rapid development only if the public realises this problem and becomes the owner of education.

Today's generation is happy, lives and follows its feelings

New generation pays great attention to situations. For them, the direct perception of the situation is more important. Logic becomes secondary. They can discuss their attitude to this or that phenomenon for a long time and find different shades in these emotional experiences that are out of reach for us and very often seem boring. I grew up in a generation of technocrats, and always stressed the importance of logic. The logic is very important, but at some point it brings you closer to the edge and ... That’s it. When one is guided only by logic, one has a feeling of emptiness and unhappiness. The current generation lives happily and trusts its feelings. Their conversations are mostly not about the situation but about their attitudes to these situations. They are not so strong in narrative art and their worldview is much more impressionistic, with undefined contours, sliced, but with rich and colourful shades.

It is necessary to cooperate with educational institutions from other countries and study their educational reform programmes

We are not only interested but also actively cooperate. Our partners are the most famous schools in England: University of Cambridge and UCL. In addition, in the coming months, we will initiate the international recognition process of the educational platform Ararat Bachelor”, created by AYB, which will create a need for more direct contacts for us. At the same time, we have connections with countries such as Russia and Kazakhstan, where interesting educational reform programmes are carried out.

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