Schools in Martakert restored

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
March 30, 2004


During the war of Artsakh, in Martakert which became the target of
enemy bombs the school buildings were also damaged greatly. As a
result of the temporary retreat of the Defence Army some of the school
buildings were either ruined or turned into barracks. After the
liberation of Martakert and signing of the cease-fire serious and
consistent efforts were required to restore the damaged and ruined
schools. In this reference in 1994-1995 the operation of the schools
number 1 and 2 needing capital reconstruction and furniture was a
heroic step. And despite the great number of problems the both schools
in the academic year 1994-1995 opened their doors for the pupils. The
school number 1 of the regional center of Martakert bearing the name
of azatamartik Vladimir Balayan on September 1, 1994 could admit 300
pupils; before the war 1600 pupils attended this school and 160
teachers worked there. According to Lydia Petrossian, the director of
the school since 1994, repair works of the school started in 2000. In
about 2 years the French charity “Mission Childhood” repaired the
building of the school. In September of 1994 the number of the pupils
was 204; at the end of the year the number of pupils increased to
300. As a result of move of the families of military officers and
outflow of the population in 1994-2004 the number of the pupils
dropped from 420 to 378. Today 47 teachers work in this school. The
school has 2 male teachers, there is need for more men
teachers. Before the war the school had a Russian department. Since
1995 the Russian department has had 7 classes, and in the academic
year 2003-2004 it will give its last graduates. The school N1 of the
regional center is sponsored by Armenian benefactor, the chairman of
the Toronto body of the All-Armenian Foundation “Hayastan” Mkrtich
Mkrtichian. He provided 6 computers to the school and promised to
furnish the computer study room. According to the director of the
school, one of the primary problems of the school is the Internet
connection. “As a personal donation M. Mkrtichian provided a car to
the school, and I am sure in case of applying to him with any urgent
problem we will not be refused help,” mentioned L. Petrossian,
emphasizing that the teachers of the school are interested in solving
the numerous problems of the school, be it problems with the socially
insecure pupils or organizational matters. The school regularly holds
cultural and sport events. In February of this year the school
celebrated the anniversary of azatamartik Vladimir Balayan. Here at
school there is a museum devoted to the memory of the azatamartiks
killed during the war in Artsakh. The school has a gallery, where
recently the pupils of the school have exhibited their works; part of
these works were bought by foreign benefactors. Lydia Petrossian said
this year 28 pupils of Martakert, of them sixteen from this school,
took part in the republic competitions in school subjects and achieved
considerable success. The school number 2 after Vardan Minassian in
the regional center Martakert, according to director Rafael
Petrossian, has 190 pupils and 20 teachers. The school was repaired by
the international organization “Catholic Aid Service”. Due to several
French charities computer study rooms were opened here with 8
computers. And the All-Armenian Foundation “Hayastan” provided the
school with furniture. According to Rafael Petrossian, on December 3
he met with the NKR minister of education, culture and sport Armen
Sarghissian and discussed the question of providing the school with
Internet. “I know that the government has an agreement with “Karabakh
Telecom” to provide the schools of the republic with free Internet
connection. We applied to the minister and he promised to help,
however, the solution of the problem is postponed for unknown
reasons,” mentioned the minister. Among the unsolved problems are
those of opening specialized laboratories and providing them with
necessary equipment (the school N1 has the same problem). The school
lacks teachers of English, singing and music. The only teacher of
English works in the other school too, and work overloading, according
to the director, may negatively affect the quality of her
work. According to Rafael Petrossian, the anticipations from the
reforms in the system of education are not many, whereas new and fresh
way of thinking lacks. According to him, retraining of teachers,
which was one of the best traditions of the Soviet years, is of urgent
need today. Nevertheless, despite many problems yet unsolved, the
school does not deviate from its mission. The teachers and pupils
organize different cultural and sport events, the pupils take part in
different competitions in school subjects. In other words, the school
lives with a lively routine.