On February 24, on the initiative of the RA NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport parliamentary were held, where the legislative reforms and problems of the spheres of higher education and science were discussed. The RA NA deputies, those responsible for the executive body, Chancellors, lecturers and experts of the higher educational institutions took part.
The Committee Chair Mkhitar Hayrapetyan made welcoming remarks. He noted that on the previous day the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport presented the RA draft law on Higher Education and Science which caused great interest among the concerned organizations and citizens. Numerous discussions were held, as a result of which the draft law was improved.
The Committee Deputy Chair Hovhannes Hovhannisyan has noted that the bill has repeatedly been debated and it designs revolutionary amendments in the spheres of education and science. The Deputy Chair touched upon the expecting amendments and highlighted the continuous increase of the budgetary means being allocated to the sphere. He stated that the bill sill needed revision that is why parliamentary hearings were convened.
The RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Arayik Harutyunyan presented the innovations and amendments being designed by the draft laws on Higher Education and Science.
According to him, the main goal of the draft law is the integration of the higher educational institution, science and research. Touching upon the debates in the long lasting and tumultuous procedure, he has noted that through decades the stereotyped and stereotyping system, and now the draft law touches the interests of many people, therefore certain resistance is natural.
The Minister has noted that the received proposals have been discussed, and most of them have been accepted, which definitely have improved the draft law, adding that the draft law designs the most serious changes in the sphere of education.
Within the framework of the theme Bologna Process Challenges and the Influence of the Legislative Reforms Being Designed the participants of the hearings referred to the problems of the sphere management, the implementation of the educational programmes, the integration to the international educational territory, the ensuring of compatibility to the modern labour market and the formation of preconditions for the scientific and scientific technical development.
The speakers have presented recommendations, noting that there are controversial provisions which are necessary to revise.
The member of the RA NA Prosperous Armenia Faction Naira Zohrabyan referred to the provision of removing the Armenian language from the programme of the compulsory subjects being taught in the higher educational institutions. She considered unacceptable that, noting that unless the teaching of the mother tongue is not provided at schools at high level we cannot take such step. Mikayel Melkumyan has defended his colleague's viewpoint, stressing that today the school does not give the pupil education and way of thinking in Armenian way.
The member of the RA NA Bright Armenia Faction Anna Kostanyan highlighted having decentralized and depoliticized higher educational institutions, evaluated giving such an education which will give the graduate knowledge being demanded in the labour market, but not simply a diploma.
The lecturer Gevorg Emin-Teryan also reflected upon the item of the Armenian Language and Armenian Studies subjects, deeming untimely the approach of removing them from the list of the compulsory subjects being taught.
The student of Shirak Mikayel Nalbandian State University Gevorg Ghukasyan touched upon the item of sovereignty of the higher educational institutions, noting the above mentioned various problems existing in the higher educational institutions.
In his concluding speech the RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Arayik Harutyunyan talked about the voiced viewpoints and speeches and gave clarifications. He noted that numerous lecturers opposed the compulsory teaching of the Armenian Language and Armenian Studies subjects in the higher educational institutions through many years.
In his final speech the Chair of the RA NA Standing Committee on Science, Education, Culture, Diaspora, Youth and Sport Mkhitar Hayrapetyan thanked the RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Arayik Harutyunyan and the participants of the hearings for their efforts of improving the draft law. He assured that due to the proposals made the draft law would become more acceptable.