Discussion with Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport

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YEREVAN, Armenia – On November 6, 2019, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Speak-up club hosted the Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sport of the Republic of Armenia Gevorg Loretsyan (MSE ’18), an alumnus of the Akian College of Science and Engineering (CSE). The discussion centered on the new youth policy that is currently being drafted by the Ministry. 

At the start of the discussion, Loretsyan made a short presentation about the current situation in Armenia in the domain of youth and sport, analyzed it, and drew some highlights. Loretsyan declared that the Ministry is continuing to do research to collect more data to complete the picture of relevant programs in Armenia considering the absence of reliable statistics currently on hand. Without such data, one cannot design a policy that will work well, he asserted.

During the Q&A session, one student raised the question on the inaccessibility of quality education for students from regions and the possibility of moving a few higher educational institutions (HEI)  from Yerevan to the regions. Deputy Minister’s answer was that it is not in his purview to respond to that question, though he acknowledged the importance of ensuring that the development level in Yerevan and regions should be the same so that no student is denied access to quality education. 

Another student asked about potential careers of sportsmen in Armenia. The student claimed that the prospects of a career in sports are very limited and force youth to choose University over sports, which is the reason why sports are not sufficiently developed in Armenia. The Deputy Minister took exception to that bringing the example of Henrikh Mkhitaryan who knows many languages and also has successfully built a strong football career. Loretsyan ensured that there is no choice to be made. Youths should opt for attending university and also pursuing a career in sports.  These options are not mutually exclusive. 

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia, affiliated with the University of California, and accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission in the United States. AUA provides local and international students with Western-style education through top-quality undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, promotes research and innovation, encourages civic engagement and community service, and fosters democratic values.