The Final Conference of the “VET Development in Syunik marz” project

The Final Conference of the “VET Development in Syunik marz” project implemented by the “Strategic Development Agency” NGO took place on June 10-11, 2021.

The project is being implemented in partnership with the School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences of the Bern University of Applied Sciences (HAFL) and with the support of Swiss Church Aid (HEKS/EPER).

The Conference was attended by the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport (MoESCS), National Center for VET development (NCVETD), GIZ Armenia, Armenian National Agrarian University, project partner colleges and other RA VET institutions and employers of Lori and Syunik marzes of the RA. The conference was also joined online by the partners from HEKS/EPER and HAFL, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and other international partner organizations.

The Conference started with the official opening and welcoming remarks from the RA MoESCS Deputy Minister Mrs Zhanna Andreasyan, the Head of Europe/Asia Department of HQ HEKS/EPER Mr Marc Zoss, the Deputy Regional Director of Cooperation of SDC Mr Werner Thut, SDA NGO Chairman Mr Mkrtich Ayvazyan, and the Director of NCVETD Mrs Tatevik Gasparyan.

The Deputy Minister thanked the international and local partners emphasizing that the development of agricultural professions is of strategic importance for the Armenian economy.

“The achieved results and successes show that a stable partnership has been established, which has enabled us to introduce the educational standards and modules developed within the framework of the “VET Development in Syunik marz” project into other VET institutions as well. The manuals developed within the scopes of the project are unique; they are of great importance for the students and teachers of VET institutions implementing programs in the relevant professions. “This is one of the best examples of creating synergistic effect achieved by combining different projects”, – mentioned the Deputy Minister adding that the “VET Development in Syunik marz” project has also contributed to the introduction of a model of work-based learning (WBL) in the field of VET. According to the Deputy Minister, the legislative package for the introduction of the WBL model is currently being discussed.

Mr. Mkrtich Ayvazyan emphasized the importance of the balanced territorial development while presenting the activities of the NGO for the last 4-5 years.

“Considerable attention has been paid to the development projects of remote marzes, and with this purpose some works has been carried out with territorial administration and governing bodies in the field of education” – said he and adding that the “VET Development in Syunik marz” project has been implemented within this context.

During the conference, the partner organizations presented the activities carried out within the framework of the project, as well as the results, achievements and lessons learnt.  The presentations were followed by Q&A sessions, panel discussions and group work.

The online conference participants, in turn, presented the Swiss Dual VET and agricultural consultancy systems as an example of best practices to be integrated in Armenia. During the conference the existing problems and challenges in the RA VET system, the strengths and weaknesses, and the perspectives of introducing a dual VET system in the RA were referred to.

This project was implemented in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of the Republic of Armenia․