NKR: Starting School At Age 6 Is A Test For The System


Azat Artsakh, Nagorno Karabakh Republic [NKR]
22 Aug 2006

The underlying problem of the academic year starting soon is the
introduction of 12-year school education. Children go to school
at the age of 6 and study for 12 years, that is they will go to
school a year earlier and leave school a year later. Extending
school education by a year will probably give rise to problems but
it will be 12 years later. Now the problem is the education of
the 6-year-old children. This was the main topic of the meeting
of the experienced teachers of the country with the minister of
education Kamo Atayan. There was another meeting with young teachers
earlier. These discussions are not on accepting or rejecting 12-year
education. The minister of education says it does not depend on our
wish: NKR is in the same education sphere with Armenia, it does not
have its own curriculum and textbooks. So NKR adopts the education
policies adopted by Armenia. What is complicated about children
aged 6 going to school? First of all, at this age children need
special care, therefore schools need to provide food and sleep. In
Soviet Karabakh an attempt was made at admitting children aged 6 to
school, at that time there were all the necessary conditions, and
the experiment was successful, whereas now only a few schools can
provide food and sleep. With regard to this problem Kamo Atayan said
no underlying steps were made except the contingent and the choice
of teachers who will be working with children aged 6. Ira Gabrielyan,
teacher at Stepanakert School # 2, assistant director of the school,
teacher at the National Institute of the Ministry of Education and
Science of Armenia, said she studied the qualification of teachers
at the schools of the republic and believes that they will pass this
test. There are over 30 teachers in the capital who can work with
6-year-old children, and they are ready to share their experience
with their colleagues but they need more visual aids at schools.
Naira Arstamyan, the director of the school of the village of Nerkin
Horatagh, Martakert said in their schools and the schools of the
adjacent villages children aged 6 at school is not a novelty,
the majority of children go to school before they become 7. The
minister of education and culture met the willingness of the teachers
to prepare a methodic guide for teachers of 6 year-old children and
distribute to schools. He also informed that soon the authors of the
books will visit Karabakh and hold trainings for teachers. Besides,
over the upcoming year a group of experienced teachers must visit
schools of the republic to give methodic aid to teachers.