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61Educational transformations in armEnia




Open and transitional societies are usually very
sensitive to external factors, which highlights the
importance of effective management and gover-

The concepts of management and gover-
nance are very often used as synonyms in Ar-
menia’s education system, but their distinction
is very important in practice. Management is the

lations. Governance is the setting and realization
of institutions’ goals (for example, schools) in this

One of the main functions of education man-

ture of authority. In this regard, the education

Government of the Republic of Armenia, Ministry
of Education and Science, governors, heads of
local authorities, and education institutions. The

the powers of each of them. “However, there are
still some ambiguities with regard to the clear

central, regional and local authorities are weak.
Education institutions are under the manage-


collection”1, states the “Education in Armenia”

decentralization of Education as the Main
issue of Management

In 1998, the credit project “Education man-

World Bank initiated the process of decentral-
ization of management of formal basic educa-
tion. Among the objectives of the process was
increased independence for schools and their
transition to a system of management through
councils. In 2002-2005, all schools in Armenia
moved on to the system of management through
councils. All school principals and council mem-
bers were trained. School councils consist of
representatives from the teachers’ council, par-
ents’ council and supervisory bodies, in accor-

the memberships of the councils were different,
based on the number of students. In 2005, it was

1 Education in Armenia, 2004, page 26

Transition to a system of management
through councils aimed to ensure the participa-
tion of various stakeholders, which is a premise
of democratizing education. But studies reveal
that a vast number of stakeholders are not aware
of the activities of school councils. Surveys con-
ducted in Armavir, Shirak and Kotayk provinces
and Yerevan city have shown that 60.5% of par-
ents do not know about school councils2. The
study of the websites of various schools showed
that only one school in Armenia has published in-
formation on the activities of its council, and even
then only for a short period of time.

Within the context of the decentralization of

of education institutions becomes important. The
education system is managed based on the logic
of identical schools. But schools in central Yere-
van and villages near the border cannot possibly
have identical needs. In this regard, it would be
much more effective to develop differentiated ap-
proaches with regard to certain issues for urban,
rural, upland and near-border schools. For ex-
ample, many rural schools have classes combin-
ing two or three grades (when pupils of various
ages study together). Such schools need teach-
ers who have the skills of working in classrooms
with children of various ages and teaching sev-
eral related subjects. This problem has also been
mentioned in the State Concept of Education,
which states that “the education system does not
take into account the peculiarities of villages.”3

One of the shortcomings of the governance
process is that discordant activities are some-
times taking place. In particular, the Sanitation
Rules for Structure and Maintenance of Public
Schools set out hygienic requirements concern-
ing class hours. One of the requirements is the
following: “The teacher shall use the introductory
part for checking how the students have done
their homework and for logistical activities, while
the main part of the class is for presenting the

practice and reproduction.”4 However, the State
Concept of Education provides: “In the learning
process, the teacher and the school may choose

2 S. Manukyan, PRSP impact assessment, page 53
3 National Curriculum of General Education, p. 8.
4 Sanitation Rules for Structure and Maintenance of Public
Schools. Official Bulletin, 2002, # 9, p. 24.


Page 61

62 national Human dEvElopmEnt rEport 2006




any pedagogic technique and method that will
ensure the achievement of the level of educa-
tion required under the curriculum”5 Thus if a
teacher chooses a method that does not foresee
practice and reproduction in the final part of the
lesson, the teacher will be violating the Hygienic
Requirements of classes.

6.1. Macro-management (Manage-
ment of Education at National and
regional Levels)

The current system of management of the
education sector in Armenia is a passive one,
which means that the system mainly reacts to
external requirements and current operational

Although in recent years attempts have
been made to introduce new management ap-
proaches at various levels of education, the old
authoritarian approaches are still prevalent. In
particular, one of the conclusions of the moni-
toring conducted by Transparency International
Armenia states “Many teachers and principals
openly mentioned that the relevant governmen-
tal officials have never shown any interest in their
opinions”.6 The system does not have the flex-
ibility to absorb new things and to adapt to them.
Without those capabilities new mentalities cannot
be formed. One of the ways that a lack of posi-
tive attitude is shown toward new ideas is that
any good ideas or management mechanisms be-
come tainted. The new mechanism must operate
under the old mentality, resulting in the distortion
of the original good idea.

The control and command methods preva-
lent in management cannot ensure development
because they do not encourage creativity and ini-
tiative. Effective management is currently based
on the target model. The essence of the model is
that managers set the targets, distribute the bud-
get, and define the rights and responsibilities that
are needed in order to reach the targets; they en-
able the staff to work towards objectives. In tran-
sition societies, policy makers should realize that
the management and governance culture must
be changed in order to succeed.

5 National Curriculum of General Education, p. 15.
6 Monitoring of PRSP measures and donor supported pro-
grams in the education sector implemented in Shirak Marz
in 2004, Yerevan 2005, page 46

BOx 6.1

Changing role of Government in the Education

Old role New role

1. design education de-

1. develop a vision

2. develop and implement

2. Manage by outcomes, set cri-
teria, and govern nationwide ex-

3. interfere with all de-

3. Monitor outputs by evaluating
the system and the learners

4. Provide all educational

4. Consolidate and coordinate

5. Act as the only source
of funding

5. Act as an important source of
funding by facilitating coopera-
tion with local authorities and
the private sector

Source: Adams, don (2001)

Serob Khachatryan

A number of key management issues are
presented below.

information as a Management Tool

Investment in information systems is justified
since managers will use them to improve the
delivery of educational services and achieve set
targets. The Education Management Informa-
tion System has been operating in Armenia since
1999 and collects valuable information on the for-
mal basic education system. It was created within
the framework of the World Bank credit project
“Education management and financing reforms”.
The creation of such a system can lay the ground-
work for a new management culture. But the
practice of analyzing information and managing
the system based on that analysis is not yet es-
tablished in Armenia. If the information gathered
is not used in the decision-making process, then
its acquisition is pointless. Some data gathered
is in need of serious analysis and management
intervention. This is particularly true of data on
students’ transfer from one region of Armenia
to another. Usually, the region-to-region outflow
and inflow data should balance (allowing some
small discrepancies) because outflow from one
region should mean inflow to another. However,
data from the annual “Education and Armenia”
yearbook causes some concern. In 2005, for in-
stance, the outflow of students to other regions of
Armenia was 2,670, whereas the inflow from oth-
er regions was 4,915. 7 Such a discrepancy may

7 “Education in Armenia”, 2006, pp. 67-68.

Page 119

This National Human Development Report has been prepared and published with the financial support

of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

There is no copyright to this publication. It may be reproduced in the whole or in part without prior

permission from the UNDP, however the source should be acknowledged.

The views expressed herein are those of the authors of the Report and do not necessarily reflect the

views of the United Nations or the Armenian Government.

The electronic version of the Armenian Human Development Report is also available through the

Internet World Wide Web, which may be accessed by

Armenia 2007

National Human


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