I still remember when a year ago a friend of mine was breaking his neck to enter the Polytechnic Institute , and now he is just fed up and wants to leave it.

Who does not know about the corrupted system of our «State» Universities?… But shshshsh….
Our Ministry of Education stuffs his ears and closes his eyes: « Don’t  hear , don’t see, don’t believe… we promote our education.. » .  

How? This way? Chasing away your students? Having graduated from your universities they are likely to say : «Thanks God that you didn’t let me die among these charlatans..»

My friend studies at free education system. Incidentally one can study there if his father has enough money to pay for the entrance, which is of course done illegally, or if one is a wonderkid.  He belongs to the second group. The thing is that the so called professors, or rather «profbribers», still torture him, not grading and flunking. Regardless of the fact that the student knows all the questions with their answers by heart. «You know , but in the same time you don’t know»: this is their usual eulogy to the matter. After this a slight gesture with fingers is followed, you all know that, when they want money in sordo language in case if the student has a recorder with him.

So, after tormenting him for several weeks with « Go home, study WELL, come tomorrow»s they at last flunked him from two subjects, because he was not able to  study WELL ( I hope you guess what they meant by saying that). But the funny part is that he is not a usual student, but one who studies at free educational system, which means if he doesn’t pass his exams he will be transferred into fee-paying system. Ba! Now think over it…

When he turned for a help to a man from that field, he simply said: “ At least pay 10000 dram and say that’s all you have”. Yeah.. How could he haven’t hit upon it before?
Funny , very phony… At first what professor will take 10000 drams when he is used to 400$. 2nd- Where will he take that money from? He is a first year student yet and doesn’t work,  this is not America where all have work. His family barely survives..

But wait .. I’ve forgotten.. He receives 5000 drams scholarship for being such a good student and studying at free system. So, what we have? The money meant to be a stimulating factor for the student to study more, can also be used as a bribe. Just great! What a nice merry-go-round educational system we have! Government pays for the scholarship, professors take it, and who knows , may be in their turn they pay taxes to the university.

And as a result the students have artificial minds and artificial diplomas. That is why nowadays we have so much dump doctors, who’d better grow plants ( it’d be of more use) and engineers who now lead so much con-de-structions in our progressing city ( I’ll not wonder if in some 10 years the buildings at Northern Avenue will just fall into ruins) and ecologists who decide in place of what tree the café table would fit more ( and also in some 10 years when you go to that cafe don’t forget to order a cup of oxygen).

This we are- nation who starves for education.. Sounds good, right? But feels also good?

Shall our students be able to stop this one day? Ultimately the students by themselves are the main promoters of all this. This is a comfort for the students whose cell phones are with the golden numbers, whose cars are with “ 00”s ( I’ve always been wondering why these zeroes are so authorized being associated with toilet and emptiness) and as a matter of fact they are so dense. And such girls need the diploma for the dowry only. “ My daughter has graduated from the State University.. ho ho ho!”… Big deal!

In the whole this raises a question- Has the student offered a bribe first or the professors demanded money? But in any case, are that profs devoid of compassion and doesn’t know who they should take money from and who they shouldn’t?  Just that’s a matter of habit and all.. I presume…

Now I appeal to those students who has ever faced this corruption. Why do you undergo that influence? You must stand your right. Don’t afraid to tell the public about it. Make your profs blush with guilt. Threaten them that you will take measures and will not leave it so. Believe me, they chicken so much when the student stands against. I tell this from my own experience. It was only once when all my course paid bribe except me. The lecturer inquired  in such an ironically tone whether I knew the subject  so well that I denied paying money. But I was so confident of my knowledge and answered with such an audacity that she got afraid and had no chance but to grade me 5 (out of 5).

This proofs once more that this is real and everyone can do it.



  1. Zarchka Says:

    From the very outset this article was meant to find his place at armyouth blog, when Tamar suggested me to contribute for that blog. But now, having already my blog I’m posting it here. Tamar, thanks for understanding me.

  2. armyouth Says:

    Zarchka jan,

    You point out some excellent in this article. There are some serious issues within the university system in Yerevan. In fact, you and I both know this article is just “the tip of the iceberg” as they say. The young people of Armenia are continuing to become cynical of “the system” and how it works. At such a young, it’s awful because they are learning that by paying these professors and continuing in the “old ways” that they will be able to succeed — and by succeed I mean drive their BMWs and bother the really pretty girls who really do not care to give them their attention – or maybe the stupid ones do really? i don’t know, who am I to judge. Just another diasporan Armenian in Armenia, maybe quite idealistic and hoping that some changes will be made for the better.

    On the other hand, it is good to see that there already are some changes being made in the university system. Not ALL professors are willing to accept bribes. in fact, I know one professor who had students who didn’t want to study in his class and they offered to give him money for a good grade but he just gave a high grade to them and didn’t take the money. His logic is that really- it’s their loss and they are wasting their money and time “getting this education”.

    So there are many positives and negatives- it’s all not simply negative.

    But I appreciate the article and look forward to reading more!


  3. Nessuna Says:

    Zarchka, below is the link to Mr. Bagrat Harutyunyan’s research on the topic of Corruption and Reforms in Armenia’s Education System, you might find interesting. Cheers!


  4. Oneworld Multimedia :: Zarchka’s New Blog :: February :: 2006 Says:

    […] I’ve just discovered that Zarchka has set up her own blog at https://lifearoundme.wordpress.com. Zara cut her teeth blogging on my site, so I’m especially glad she’s continuing. Her first main post is on corruption in the education sector. Posted by Onnik @ 1:32 pm. Filed under: Armenia, Education, Blogging, Corruption, Caucasus […]

  5. Christian Says:

    Great entry. As I have written you before, keep writing. Don’t hold back on your thoughts regarding any issue pertaining to Armenia. Things need to be said, and it’s great that young woman such as yourself and others are speaking out. Keep up the good work.

  6. Zarchka Says:

    Nessuna, thanks for the link.

    Tamar, there are really honest professors who will never grade, even if you put the knife on their throats, unless the students answer. I have the fortune to be the student of some of such professors, who will never grade the student if he happen to offer a bribe. They will rather flunk him on that. Note, the problem of corruption mainly exists in State Universities and not in private ones. It’s funny, but one of my professors who is a famous bribe-taker in the Pedagogic University, never takes bribe from the students in my university.

    Christian, thanks for encouraging, I remember you were the first to do it when for the first time I blogged at Onnik’s.

  7. Vahan Says:

    Zarchka, it seems that you have a grossly biased opinion about public (aka “state”) universities in Armenia. Corruption and bribes are a huge problem, but I don’t think it’s fair to pick on poor university professors, who are forced into taking bribes because of their meagerly wages, while semi-educated government officials are building castles and buying Hummers using stolen public funds. By the way, if I’m not mistaken your private university is not just a private university, but it is most likely a “for-profit” school. I recommend you to read more about “for-profit” education (check wikipedia) and to transfer to a decent public university.

  8. Zarchka Says:

    Vahan..Will you explain to my friend that the professors’ salary is not high enough and that’s why they are torturing him and flunking all the time? This boy is sure to have neurosis now, will they pay money for his treatment later? What are they expecting to grasp from a student who’s house is a ramshackle, where the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom are in the same room? Besides he is such a brilliant boy, who can have a brilliant future, but yet they make him go into a tailspin and they succeed, as now he doesn’t want to study anymore, but is still struggling.
    This problem will never vanish in educational system, as well as the other fields of the life. But let the professors at least take bribes from those who are really dumb, don’t study and are capable and ready to pay bribe for being graded. In this case it will even be «fair». The reality is grossly and not my opinion.
    I’m not much proud with my university, but now knowing the unpleasant experience of many students at YSU, I’m glad to study at this private one.It’s no worse, even better.

  9. man Says:

    i didnt read this, its long

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