OE Shirak Community Meeting
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Open Education Empowers Shirak Community with Learning Opportunities

2 min read

GYUMRI, Armenia — On August 24, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Open Education (OE) Center in Gyumri, Shirak province, hosted a community meeting. The primary purpose of the gathering was to apprise the community of the Center’s current course offerings and planned programs. The meeting also sought to engage the attendees in dialogue to discern the prevailing educational gaps in the region and explore possibilities for collaboration. The participants included representatives from a wide array of sectors, including the regional administration of Shirak, Gyumri municipal government, as well as educational institutions, NGOs, and other entities, such as Armenian Caritas, Women for Development NGO, Shirak Tourism DMO, Synopsys Armenia, and more. This convergence of stakeholders infused new and diverse perspectives, setting the stage for a collaborative effort aimed at addressing educational disparities and forging potential partnerships.

In her opening address, OE Director Anoush Yedigaryan introduced the core mission of the Center and its distinguishing features, with a strong emphasis on inclusivity. Attendees were acquainted with the Center’s comprehensive offerings spanning language courses, professional development, test and exam preparation, and other courses tailored to meet local needs and the OE testing center. These multifaceted programs are meticulously designed to arm learners with the skills and knowledge necessary for both personal and professional advancement. The influence of OE extends far beyond Gyumri, reaching underserved communities in Armenia’s northern and southern regions. Yedigaryan underscored the importance of extending educational opportunities to every corner of the country, with the explicit goal of bridging the educational divide between urban and rural areas.

The collective input from the diverse group of stakeholders at the event advanced a shared vision of inclusive education. Once again, OE emphasized that education should be accessible to all, regardless of location or circumstance. That vision can be realized through collaboration with various organizations, duly pooling resources, knowledge, and expertise to fill existing educational gaps.

Noteworthy proposals emerged from these discussions, including the creation of new courses; organizing teacher training; ensuring accessibility; promoting tourism through collaborative efforts between local organizations to stimulate economic growth; encouraging cooperation between educational institutions and local administration in order to organize extracurricular activities that enrich the educational experiences of schoolchildren. 

The community meeting organized by AUA’s OE Center in Gyumri underscored the power of education, when combined with collaboration and inclusivity. The various suggestions and recommendations put forth during the gathering signal a collective commitment to advancing education and opportunity for all.

As OE continues to expand its reach and impact, it is poised to become a transformative force in Shirak, unlocking the potential of individuals and communities and guiding them toward a future defined by knowledge, empowerment, and inclusivity. The collective effort of all those present at the meeting represents a significant step toward achieving this noble goal. 

Open Education (OE) is the non-degree educational program of the American University of Armenia (AUA), with programs especially geared to meeting the educational needs of individuals from diverse backgrounds and occupations, as well as governments and corporate organizations. OE offers a comprehensive range of courses and certificate programs, including language classes, test preparation courses, and a wide range of professional development training. Through its regional centers around Armenia, OE expands opportunities for locals to thrive and contribute to the development of their communities. Additionally, OE provides testing services on behalf of various standardized tests for college admission and exams for international professional certification.