Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Corruption doesn’t exist ???

September 26, 2007

Was waiting for the English version of this article to appear, but still can’t find it. However quoting and linking to a very interesting article on ”168 zham” weekly, which perfectly reveals the corruption manifestations at educational institutions, particularly at school #68 in Erebuni district. And as someone from that district I can assure that all the allegations made against the headmistress of that school are grounded, as I have witnessed the developments of this outrage. In two words, the headmistress of that school is said to gather money from pupils and teachers to buy a car for herself, and not only, she makes them gather huge amount of money for every occasion – her birthday, March 8, New Year, etc.. So after a complaint made to “168 zham” by a parent of one of the pupils studying at that school, the dismissed teachers mustered up their courage to present the weekly with new, very serious facts about the corrupted headmistress. I’m still waiting to see what measures the Ministry of Education will take regarding this case or it will be again considered as a tiny incident. Personally, I think, that if this corrupted woman continues occupying her current post, instead of being dismissed from it, that will be the last hope for any possible justice in this country.

Article 1

Օրերս «168 Ժամ» թերթի խմբագրությունն ահազանգ էր ստացել այն մասին, որ Էրեբունի համայնքի թիվ 68 դպրոցում զավեշտի հասնող դրամահավաք է սկսվել: Մեզ զանգահարողը նույն դպրոցի աշակերտներից մեկի մայրն էր, ով հասկանալի պատճառներով չցանկացավ իր անունը հրապարակել, սակայն տեղեկացրեց, որ դպրոցում անհավանական իրադարձություններ են տեղի ունենում: Նրա հավաստմամբ` դպրոցի մանկավարժական կազմն ակտիվ կերպով լծվել է յուրաքանչյուր աշակերտից 6000 դրամ գումար ստիպողաբար հավաքելու գործին: Տիկնոջ խոսքերով` երեխաներից գումարը հավաքագրվում է, որպեսզի դպրոցի տնօրենն ավտոմեքենա գնի: Նա նաեւ տեղեկացրեց, որ, քանի որ ինքը չի կարողացել անհրաժեշտ գումարը տալ, ծնողական ժողովի ժամանակ դասղեկն ասել է` «Ի՞նչ եք մտածում գումարի համար, ձեր փոխարեն ես եմ տվել: Փողն անպայման պիտի տաք, որովհետեւ իմ գրպանից եմ այն դրել»: […]

[…]Մենք կապվեցինք թիվ 68 դպրոցի տնօրեն Սուսաննա Ազիզյանի հետ, ով բավականին բարեհամբույր պատասխանեց մեր հեռախոսազանգին: Սակայն, երբ հարցրեցինք, թե ինչո՞ւ են աշակերտներից փող հավաքում իր համար մեքենա գնելու նպատակով, տիկին Ազիզյանը խիստ զայրացավ: Բացի այդ, նրա վերաբերմունքից ակնհայտ էր, որ այս հարցադրումը նրա համար անակնկալ չէր: «Նախ՝ ես արդեն գնել եմ «Մերսեդես-կուպե» մեքենա: Ես ձեր հարցերին չեմ պատասխանի, մինչեւ որ գրավոր դիմում չներկայացնեք: Օդից վերցրած ահազանգերին պատասխանելը նպատակահարմար չեմ գտնում: Հրաժարվում եմ պատասխանել ձեր հարցին, որովհետեւ ամեն մի անանուն զանգերի պատասխանելու ժամանակ էլ չունեմ»,- բարկացած ասաց նա` սպառնալով, որ ահազանգի մասին հրապարակում տեսնելուն պես դատի կտա հոդվածը գրող լրագրողին: Հարկ է նշել մի կարեւոր հանգամանք՝ տիկին Ազիզյանը մեր զրույցի ընթացքում չհերքեց, որ իր տնօրինության տակ գտնվող դպրոցում դրամ է հավաքվում:[…]

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My student admitted!!!

August 13, 2007

I’m so joyous!! My student got admitted to the university!!!
But you will never guess what kind of a student 😉

A month or so ago a friend’s sister asked me to help her with her entrance examination to Theater and Cinema Institute. Last year she was flunked during the exam where she had to perform a song and the unsuccessful choice of the song played the trick and she didn’t make it.

So I agreed. She refused to sing anything Armenian this time, as all the rest would, and she wanted something different. So our choice was Ray Charle’s Hit the Road Jack”. She had a good but untrained voice, no correct breathing, little knowledge of English and terrible intonation. So in order to make her understand and feel the song and sing it properly I was to do the impossible during such a short period of time, never having such an experience in the past, though having been singing in several choirs for how many years already. .

In a word, we did it! At a point she didn’t expect me to be so strict in my requirements. But she did everything I asked and showed and taught. The examination board was amazed. They even asked who practiced the song with her. She was great!!!

Soooo proud of my student (and myself 😉 ) !!!

Congratulations, Tatev!!! Apres!!!

Away from people and city destruction – a green nook

July 25, 2007

First of all, was going to publish this post when read at bekaisa, later confirmed by a friend about an environmental open air conference and action to take place tomorrow, July 26 in the Opera area by the Arno Babajanyan statue aimed to protesting against environmental destruction, namely the construction of a new café-restaurant right next to the statue where a huge hole is already dug.

It’s really about the time, if not late though, and hopefully something may be done to stop further destruction of that area. But to tell the truth, at the moment the city center seems so horrifying to me, with its dust, con-destruction, traffic noise, people cursing each other in traffic jams, that I don’t really envy the center dwellers and I assume, given the fact that more villas appear in the outskirts of the city, some 2 years later the center will be inhabited by diasporans living in “elite” buildings built especially for them, and tourists only.

On that, how many parks do you know in Yerevan where there are more trees than cafe tables? Dreading to mention the city center which is rather a café area with several trees than a park, I double dread to mention the Botanic Garden learning the latest news that a huge area separated for construction of a new closed garden in a hotbed, turned out to be privatized by one of the heads of the garden, who actually intended to build kind of a villa for himself. After all, one can only hope that the entrance to “Pushkin” Park, which is being re-constructed now by means of All-Armenian Foundation, will be free after it, as was reported by them. Let’s see.

However, there is one park in the center where you can just sit calmly on the bench or somewhere on the grass and no rabiz music coming from corny cafes will disturb you. There is a cafe or probably two with some 3-4 tables which are very ordinary and humble enough if compared with the luxury of cafes around Opera house. That’s the so called “Komaygi” in front of “Shirak” Hotel. Nice place, when I’m in the center and have free time to kill or need rest I usually go there. (not to jinx…thu..thu…thu…)

But probably not many of you know about another park in the suburbs of Yerevan – known as “Togh-Magh” and now renamed into “Vardavar” Park. (more…)

:) !!!!!!!!!!!!

May 15, 2007

Now I guess days spent on scrutinizing what segmental relevance is, why Daniel Jones from the London phonological school talks about family of sounds, or trying to understand the difference between Old English strong and weak vowels or the theory of Nexus and Juncture by Jesperson finally gave the positive results.

People, I passed my first exam excellently!!!
Yuhoooo!!!!!!!!

Now I can breath a bit calmly, though the final exam on pedagogics and methods of foreign language teaching is still ahead. More ten days absorbing the questions from early in the morning till the point where I get exhausted. But at least, now I won’t look for stylistic devices in everything English I read or listen, trying to analyse whether it’s a metaphor, euphemism, alliteration or a stylistic inversion. Phew… 🙂

On the other hand, I’m very glad that I studied the language from its scientific points, and not the practical alone. Well, the mastery of the language comes along with the practice, while I will always have this luggage of knowledge with me. I hope so.

Yet, the next is left – now studying how to give knowledge, habits and skills to the school pupils. Let’s see how I will end up!!

If anyone is ever interested why I don’t blog…

April 17, 2007

Yep, I’m not happy with it, of course, but… I have to busy myself with my forthcoming state exams.Well, it’s rather that they are busing me with themselves. Whatsever. Can’t think of anything else but my spot questions and how I’m going to pass my exams. I guess I mentioned it in some previous post, rather I’m doing it all the time.

I really lament the fact that unfortunately this period coincides with parliamentary elections and I could do so much regarding it, but I already gave up doing anything and am even thinking of not observing the forthcoming elections with IYC, well, if I’m lucky and everything goes well by that time, I might observe for the half of the day, at least something. My first exam is on May 15 and I wouldn’t really like to turn up half prepared or exhausted. But to tell the truth, I am already tired, tired of worrying, though I guess I shouldn’t… just keep calm…

Anyways, some time ago wanted to write about the workshop Civil Society Institute held in Tsaghadzor in participance with several NGO’s and political parties, who were to represent their activities, and young people from several regions. I represented It’s Your Choice, talked about it’s activities, programs, plans and so on. Tthough most of the youth gathered there seemed rather apathetic in being involved in anything, instead, being interested in playing games more than anything… albeit it was well organized.

Interesting it was, when during my presentation a girl, who represented a youth ngo and who incidentally appeared to be a member of CEC, in front of everyone argued with me that the lists with names are being hang in polling stations 29 days before elections, opposing to my statment that they are hang 40 days before elections. She insisted on her point saying that who would hang the lists if the commission is not made up yet, proving once more her ignorance of the Electoral Code, as far as the precinct commission has nothing to do with hanging the lists, it being the responsibility of the department of passports of each community and the heads of the structures, buildings turned into polling stations.

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(mis)translation…

April 2, 2007

During a translation one of the 2nd year students translated:

“… in Japan…”

“… Ղափանում…”

Hehehe… Of course we laughed, and pondered later “mmmm…”, especially when the material never included anything about Armenia.

Some student stuff

February 9, 2007

I’m back to University again. This is going to be a tense period for me, as along with everything else I do, I should get prepared for my final state exams in June. Yes, probably June still seems quite afar from this point, but time is flying for me and I always panic before some important events, with the fear not to manage to do everything on time or properly. But I just need to work hard as to get my red diploma, no, not for putting it into my dowry, as is the case with many girls here, and not that I learn for marks, just I got only excellent marks and it would be pity if I don’t get them for my final exams.

I’m still wondering whether it is so important to have a state diploma for getting a job. For I’m not studying at the Yerevan State University, my one is a private university with state license, or whatever they call it. And yet, people tell me I should have applied to the state one. It’s a matter of prestige. Of course I did, unless I got the pass mark, but for some reason my name wasn’t included in the list and later got a call from an employee of that university offering to enlist my name if I paid $1500.

At that point really I loathed from that university and my decision to move to this current one wasn’t unsteady anymore. Starting my education with corruption would be a great beginning, but that’s not for me. And although many people reproached me for moving, I was adamant in my decision and would always say – The professors only put you on the right direction, and it’s only up to the students to take it, go deep into it, or refuse it. As my professor of foreign literature said, “You think I give some other lessons and lectures at other universities? No, I’m the same everywhere, as are my methods and the lessons I conduct”. Then what is the difference between the state and private universities? The students? But aren’t they different at any place, I mean, aren’t there weak and strong, dull and brilliant students at any university?

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Comma?

February 6, 2007

While the metro escalator takes me down I read the adds on both sides of it and stumble upon this one which is apparently meant for advertising a shop for women:

“Ձեզ համար կանայք”, “For you women”

Wow, what? Really? I grinned. Did you get the same impression as I did? The absence of the coma before ‘women’ and the absence of stress on it gives quite a different connotational meaning to the whole sentence. By the message you grasp not a shop where women can find everything for them, but a shop where women can be found. Funny, isn’t it? Just a comma! But who knows about its non-usage 😉

Would be kind of hilarious if I went there and asked to wrap three women for me 😉

And while this case just raises a smile, there are many others which raise just a sympathy for the illiterate people making those add-notes, or the pitiable usage of Armenian on them; such as: [sQo serviZ] (as if a ‘mourning service’). And while the right spelling of the first word is ‘sGo’, the second word even with [Z] instead of [S] has it’s equivalent in Armenian, which is [tsarajutjun]. And for more than 5 years that note was hang in one of the scary streets in Yerevan, Nar-Dos (and what does Nar-Dos have in common with coffins?) with coffins on both sides along the street, unless it just disappeared one day. Probably the Language Institute ultimately paid attention to it and took it down. Right, there should be control not only on the foreign notes this and there, demanding Armenian necessarily be there, but they should also keep an eye on the Armenian words later appearing next to the foreign language notes.

Anyways, now I decided to warn the owners of the advertisement hoardings if I notice a misspelling in a word, or amistake in a context. So I guess I will call at the women’s shop one day 😉

Voter Education – IYC

January 26, 2007

Not once I have mentioned in this blog about the largest domestic observation mission in Armenia, nonpartisan organization “It’s Your Choice”.

It’s Your Choice is a nonpartisan NGO and the largest domestic election monitor in Armenia with 4,000 volunteers, and offices and chapters in all Marzes and 12 communities of Yerevan. IYC’s mission is to
– Promote transparent elections and democratic processes in Armenia;
– Establish true self-governance and accountability within the government;
– Encourage citizen participation in community governance; and
– Provide objective, reliable and timely information to Armenian voters.

Part of IYC’s plans for the coming elections makes the Voter Education. During this education voters are given a list of questions regarding mainly their role in the voting process. They are being explained the new law, the importance of their vote, then mock election is being conducted. In the end the voters again answer to the same list of questions, which is done for checking the productiveness of the education.

Such a voter education took place today for a group of Erebuni community voters consisted of 45 people aged 20 to 70. As I was among the organizers interesting it was to observe the awareness and readiness of people for the upcoming elections. Interestingly when you start talking about elections, the first reaction of people is hesitative, as they suppose that you may be from a political party. But soon, being introduced to IYC and its activities they become engaged in the educational process willingly, which usually results to a productive process throughout the education.

First of all the voters were explained how important of each of their votes is, that their being active and protecting their right of doing their choice is essential. After having the answers on the questionnaires it was more than evident that nearly all of the participants didn’t have any distinct knowledge not only about elections in general, but also about their own role in it.

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End of my practice

December 5, 2006

As it was already a month that I was teaching English at one of Yerevan schools I was to have an open lesson as a conclusion to the teaching I carried out during the month. As far as the plan for their educational year included mostly lessons on Great Britain, I decided that it would be much preferable to cover something related to it and my choice stopped on the capital of Great Britain- London.

Pity that I was so much excited that I forgot to take pictures with my pupils. The only thing I can post is that of the poster.

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The lesson was entitled “Let’s have a walk in London” as the poster I made for the didactic method had the same title. Each pupil was given assignment to talk on the sightseeings, historical and architectural buildings of London. Two pupils announced the beginning of the lesson telling about Great Britain and its capital London which was the theme of the day. Six pupils presented a staged performance on how two Armenian guys who due to the circumstances found themselves in London ask a group of young Londoners to help them.
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