Many Armenian cultural institutions are encouraged to develop special educational programmes offered to urban and rural schools. These educational programmes serve as additional support to school materials and allow schoolchildren to get engaged in cultural education better and quicker.
However, no specific consideration is given to schools and schoolchildren in Marzes.
The authors of this policy brief held a survey in 80 schools in the Marz of Kotayk and collected feedback from 80 school directors and 500 school teachers. The participants identified two areas which need to be reinforced in the cultural education framework:
Official school curricula
The school curriculum often includes study of lives and works of prominent Armenians, which can be studied more thoroughly by attending the house-museums of these personalities, watching videos and video-lectures, etc. Some schools however still hesitate to cooperate with cultural organisations.
Cultural institutions do not cooperate in extra-curricular programmes on national holidays, for rites, inter-cultural events or museum night programmes.
The survey findings revealed that currently there are five impediments to the proper organisation of cultural education initiatives. This includes:
Some schools do not have the financial means to undertake similar initiatives.
A lack of enthusiasm and sufficient interest with the school teachers.
A lack of proper promotion and cultural awareness activities
Limited educational materials and tools
Weak cooperation mechanisms (or lack of them) among the educational and cultural organisation
These issues could be solved by establishing a Centre for Culture and Education Development (CCED) that would operate as a non-profit organisation and foster culture and education partnership in Marzes could be launched in Kotayk Marz.
1. Give Marz schoolchildren have opportunities to attend cultural events
2. Cultural institutions should develop arts education programmes for the Marzes
3. Revise laws to require cultural education activities in all schools
4. Local and central authorities should support culture-education partnerships
5. Engage parents` councils
6. Engage culture and education specialists
7. Develop a website to raise schools awareness of cultural education
8. Cultural institutions should host activities to complement school instruction