“Promoting Partnerships for Effective Work-Based Learning (WBL) Opportunities in VET” project Launch event

The launch event of the “Promoting Partnerships for Effective Work-Based Learning (WBL) Opportunities in VET” project, implemented by the Strategic Development Agency (SDA) NGO and funded by European Union (EU) took place on October 29.

The main goal of the project is to strengthen the partnership between VET colleges and private sector by piloting WBL in Veterinarian and Milk and Dairy Technologist professions in Goris and Stepanavan State Agricultural Colleges.

Head of the European Union Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Ms. Andrea Wiktorin, RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mr. Arayik Harutyunyan, Deputy Minister of Economy Ms. Naira Margaryan, Head of VET Department at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport Mr. Artak Aghbalyan and SDA NGO Chairman Mr. Mkrtich Ayvazyan delivered remarks at the event. Representatives of the Armenian government, National Center for VET development, VET colleges, NGOs and donor organizations active in the field as well as private sector representatives and media have attended the event.

All the speakers gave an importance to developing work-based learning model in vocational education and training, mentioning that it will give an opportunity to match vocational education to the needs of the labour market and will increase employability of young people.

At the end of the event, the Project Manager, Ms. Lilit Hovhannisyan presented project’s goal, objectives and expected results as well as answered to the participants’ questions.


Official opening of “Lead Farm” and Communal veterinary service point

On 23th of October 2019 in Margahovit community of Lori region “Strategic Development Agency” (SDA) NGO within the framework of “Livestock Development in Armenia: South – North” project (The project is co-financed by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Austrian Development Agency, the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation) organized official openings of established “Lead Farm” and Communal veterinary service point. After official opening ceremonies results/achievements of the “Livestock Development in Armenia: South-North” Project were presented to the participants (the Project is implemented by SDA NGO in Lori, Shirak, Tavush and Gegharkunik regions of Armenia).

Swiss Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E. Mr. Stefano Lazzarotto, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Suren Papikyan, the Governor of Lori Mr. Andrei Ghukasyan, the representatives of project co-financing Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Austrian Development Agency the operational unit of Austrian Development Cooperation, local and international organizations, project target communities have participated.

The guests highly appreciated the program interventions implemented by SDA NGO in Lori region, highlighting the role of the program in community development.

At the end of the event Lori Governor Mr. A. Ghukasyan presented a letter of gratitude to the Chairman of the SDA NGO Mr. M. Ayvazyan for implementation of large-scale work on livestock farming development in Lori marz of RA.

Discussion of the educational materials for the profession of “Junior Veterinarian” took place

On 28 June a meeting/discussion of the educational materials for the profession of “Junior Veterinarian” took place at Ibis Hotel Yerevan. The meeting was organized in the framework of “VET development in Syunik marz” project implemented by Strategic Development Agency NGO.

The main aim of the meeting was to introduce the teaching materials developed for 32 modules of the profession of “Junior Veterinarian”. This was already the third and final meeting which would help to finalize all the materials.

In total, there were 23 participants:head of the State Service for Food Safety, teachers from Goris, Stepanavan, Gavar State Agricultural Colleges, Veterinary teachers from Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU) and ANAU Sisian branch, private veterinarians, etc..

The meeting started by the welcome words by Lilit Hovhannisyan, the “VET Development in Syunik marz” project manager, then it was followed by a welcome speech by Mr. Georgi Avetisyan, head of the State Service for Food Safety, who greeted the participants and stressed the importance of having quality teaching materials which will help to prepare qualified specialists.

Two experts who were involved in the development of teaching materials started the presentation of modules. The structure of modules which contains text, pictures, tests, interesting facts, definition of terminology has been introduced to participants.Then each module and its learning outcomes have been presented to participants. Participants had the possibility to make comments and to present their suggestions to make changes or additions in some modules. There was also a space for discussion. All the comments have been considered by the experts and will be integrated in the final materials, which will become an educational manual and will be used by all colleges starting from September 2019.


The practice was organized for students of “junior veterinarian” department from Goris State Agricultural College

From 17-21 June, 2019 7 students from Goris State Agricultural College, department of “Junior veterinarian” had their practice in Yerevan.& The practice was organized in the framework of “VET development in Syunik marz” project by “Strategic Development Agency” NGO in cooperation with Armenian National Agrarian University (ANAU).

During their practice students visited veterinary clinics of ANAU, Yerevan Zoological Garden and the adjacent clinics as well as “Wandering Animals” care center. During their visits the students had opportunity to participate in different surgeries performed on domestic animals, to familiarize themselves with different veterinary instruments and equipment, as well as to get answers to all the questions.

The practice was really effective as it contributed to the personal and professional development of students and enriched the knowledge of students in the field of veterinary.


“Sheep Shearing Festival-2019”

“Sheep Shearing Festival” took place in the area of Syunik Animal Market of Khot rural settlement of Tatev Community of Syunik marz on June 8. The Festival was organized by “Strategic Development Agency” NGO with financial support from Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC). The main purpose of the event is to promote local products, traditions and culture of Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions of Armenia, as well as to develop rural tourism. Overall, around 2500 people from Syunik, Vayots Dzor and other marzes, Yerevan, as well as travelers from abroad attended the event.

As compared to the previous years, the geography of the event expanded this year both in terms of participating communities, as well as producers. In addition to Syunik and Vayots Dzor, Tavush, Shirak, Lori and Gegharkunik marzes were also represented. This year, 16 shearers from Syunik, Vayots Dzor, Shirak, Gegharkunik and Tavush marzes competed in the sheep shearing contest. This year Edgar Zakaryan from Shaki took the first place in the competition.

The Festival was also attended by a number of state officials, including governor of Syunik province Hunan Poghosyan, Head of Tatev community Murad Simonyan, The State Service for