Developing distance education in Armenia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a grant-financed knowledge and support technical assistance project to help Armenia improve resilience to the coronavirus pandemic and other disasters by developing and operationalising a distance education platform.

The project, worth 750,000 US dollars, will support Armenia’s ministry of education, science, culture and sport (MoESCS) to ensure quality and continuous education during times of emergency and normal situations. The assistance will improve the regulatory and institutional framework supporting distance learning, as well as the capacity of users through a training of trainers scheme for effective operation of the distance education platform.

“Providing access to quality and continuous education for all students nationwide is a key goal for the government and supports ADB Strategy 2030’s guiding principles of promoting innovative technology and providing integrated solutions,” says ADB Country Director for Armenia Paolo Spantigati. “ADB will continue its support to the education sector reforms in the country as one of the strategic directions of its country partnership strategy.”

Under the programme, a distance education platform will be developed to provide more learning modalities and information in a learner-friendly format. The platform will support kindergarten through grade 12 education institutions to deliver online courses and provide teachers and students with real-time feedback mechanisms, assignment distribution and monitoring, and other student-centric learning tools.

The programme will help the government develop policies to provide equal opportunities for all to use the platform, which addresses the needs and diverse physical capabilities of learners, their caregivers, and teachers.

“ADB support to develop the distance education in Armenia is in line with one of the strategic goals of our ministry,” says deputy minister of MoESCS Artur Martirosyan. “The importance of the project is that it will enable us to move towards using the platform for distance education and will thereby help address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry appreciates the productive cooperation with ADB.”

Mr Martirosyan is a former director of development at Teach for Armenia, an organisation which places highly-qualified graduates into schools to educate children in those communities in Armenia which find it difficult to attract good teachers.

The organisation won Emerging Europe’s Young Empowerment Initiative of the Year award in 2018.

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