August 15
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The academic model in Armenia is efficient. This is what Director of the History Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Ashot Melkonyan declared during a press conference devoted to the bill on making amendments to the law on higher education today. By this bill, Armenian language and history won’t be mandatory subjects at universities with non-core programs, and it became a reason for students to declare a student strike.

Ashot Melkonyan said there are many problems in the field, but an attempt is being made to do away with the whole system. “Why has the need emerged to make Armenian language and history non-mandatory subjects? There are many problems in the fields of education and science, but why has the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport targeted Armenian language and history? For instance, they can remove English language, biology or physics from the program,” Melkonyan said, adding that future Armenian diplomats or scholars must have knowledge of the Armenian language and history.

Director of the Language Institute of the National Academy of Sciences Victor Katvalyan stated that the bill wasn’t prepared in the right way. “There can’t be a law on two different sectors. There is science as a subject in the system of higher education. The provisions related to the National Academy of Sciences are also inadmissible. Based on the bill, the Academy has to be shut down,” he declared and called on journalists to not give in to making superficial judgments. “The Academy publishes hundreds of scientific articles a year. Doesn’t this show that the system is functioning well?” Katvalyan noted, adding that it would be hard to imagine an educated person without knowledge of his or her native language and the history of his or her people.

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