Monday, November 6 2017 18:02

Levon Mkrtchyan: Regardless of the reduction in budget financing, the quality of education should not be affected

Levon Mkrtchyan: Regardless of the reduction in budget financing, the quality of education should not be affected

ArmInfo. The volume of budgetary allocations for financing the education and science of Armenia is planned to be reduced. The sphere of education in 2018 will receive 126,714.1 million AMD or 71.4 million AMD (0.6%) less than the figure of the current year, and science will receive about 14.276 million AMD instead of 14.276.8 million AMD in 2017 year. Minister of Education and Science of Armenia Levon Mkrtchyan stated this at the budget hearings in the Armenian parliament. At the same time, he stressed that the Ministry intends to do everything possible to ensure that the quality of education does not suffer from this.

Concerning the university education, Mkrtchyan stressed that it is necessary to reconsider the distribution of places in the bachelor's degree, since at present the emphasis is on higher humanities education. "And with such accent, we can not continue to be a country of nuclear energy and develop nuclear physics," the minister said.

Speaking about the system of general education, the minister did not agree with the opinion that the teaching in high schools is inexpedient. According to him, in the case of training in high school graduates have the opportunity to study in the undergraduate for a year less, that is, instead of 4 years - 3 years. "In addition, many senior schools give a narrow specialized training already for admission to specific universities," the minister explained. He also said that four senior schools with dual education operate in the republic, where students can also work in parallel with receiving education. This program is funded by the EU.  As for the regions of the country, in some of them professional colleges will be established, on the basis of higher educational institutions and technical schools, similar to those in the US and Europe. Levon Mkrtchyan also referred to  the problem of private medical universities whose diplomas cause problems abroad. He noted that to ensure competition in the country there should be several professional medical institutions, however it is necessary to improve the quality of teaching in them. "Generally it is not right to blame all the blame for poor education on private medical schools, because the license for the right to practice medical practice is issued exclusively by the Yerevan State Medical University named after Heratsi, hence there is also a problem and the share of his guilt," Mkrtchyan said.  Touching upon the bill on the abolition of the deferment from compulsory military service, Mkrtchyan stressed that the adoption of this law would reduce corruption risks and contribute to establishing an atmosphere of fairness during the military conscription. He also stressed that the quality of education from the cancellation of deferment from military service will not deteriorate. "It's okay if young people get higher education after serving in the army," he said, assuring that the law will act equally for everyone, including for the children of high-ranking officials.

In general, as stated in the draft budget for 2018, the expenditure of the education sector in 2018 will amount to 2.17% of GDP or 8.65% of the state budget expenditures. Including, the main part of the expenses will be directed to the general education sphere. Expenses here decreased by 2.184.7 million AMD or 2.9% to 74.237.1 million AMD. Optimization of expenditures also affected the program on inclusive education - by 10% or 334.7 mln, the appropriations of 17 specialized institutions for the organization of training of 1.8 thousand pupils will be reduced, instead of the early 2 thousand. 2,727.3 million AMD will be directed through vocational training, compared to 2158.3 million in the current year.  The initial vocational training will be allocated for 66.9 million AMD or 2.6% more than in 2017 - up to 2.660.9 million AMD. The secondary vocational education will receive 431.3 million AMD or 5.1% less than in the current year - 8.026 million AMD. It is envisaged to send 12,069.1 million AMD for higher vocational education, increasing financing by 0.3% or 32.4 million drams. Out-of-school upbringing will be financed by 2.1% or 89.9 million AMD less than in 2017 - 4.292.9 million AMD, and 1,259.4 million drams will be allocated through "additional education" - by 9.9% or 138.1 million AMD less appropriations for the current year.

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