The European Commission is to provide a grant of €10 million to improve education infrastructure in Armenia. The agreement was signed at the Global Gateway Forum in Brussels on 25 October, in the presence of Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan, by EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Olivér Várhelyi and European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Thomas Österos.
The project will see the construction of two extra-curricular education and teacher training centres in the municipalities of Kapan and Goris in the Syunik region in Southern Armenia. The centres will be operated by the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) – a non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing educational opportunities and building infrastructure for children and families in rural Armenia.
The centres will provide after-school educational opportunities and access to services for children and young adults between the age of 6 and 18. Using a dedicated transport network, up to 6,000 students will get the opportunity to follow a curriculum covering subjects such as mechanics, programming, entrepreneurship, languages, arts, music, and athletics. In addition, students will have access to social workers, education counsellors, study trips and presentations from external experts and professionals.
The project, implemented through EIB Global, supports the flagship initiative ‘Investing in education, notably in the Syunik region’ for Armenia, under the European Union’s Economic and Investment Plan for the Eastern Partnership. It is also an integral part of the Team Europe Initiative on Resilient Syunik which aims to support the socio-economic resilience of the Southern region of Armenia, which has been most affected by the 2020 hostilities and the recent plight of mass displacement of Karabakh Armenians.
“Today’s announcement is another proof of the EU’s commitment to Armenia’s reforms in education, to enhance its quality, modernisation and relevance to economy and society,” said Commissioner Várhelyi. “Education is a priority under the Economic and Investment Plan’s flagships for Armenia, and I am pleased to see that the construction of two non-formal education centres in the Syunik region will be a reality. This will ensure the quality of rural education and workforce development and prepare young people of Armenia, including vulnerable groups, to find appropriate jobs in a competitive job market.”
President Khachaturyan said the investment was an important step towards the realisation of the two non-formal education centres to be constructed in the Syunik region: “This can help to further strengthen the links between formal and non-formal education as the latter is an essential auxiliary to the former. Moreover, the construction of these smart centres in Syunik will contribute to a bigger goal of developing the southern regions of Armenia.”
The Global Gateway Forum in Brussels on 25-26 October for the first time brings together an assembly of government representatives from the European Union and across the globe, alongside key stakeholders from the private sector, civil society, thought leaders, financial institutions, and international organisations to promote global investment in transformative infrastructure.
Global Gateway is the EU’s positive offer to reduce the worldwide investment gap and boost smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems. The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States, and European development finance institutions. Together, it aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027.
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