September 17, 2008

Educational Problems of Disabled Children

CRRC-Armenia fellow Anna Sargsyan carried out a research and assessed the education level, learning needs and social issues of disabled children living in Yerevan and Hrazdan cities. She presented the results of her study on September 12, 2008 within CRRC Fellowship Program.

The research was conducted through interviews with the disabled, their parents, nurses and principals in schools, nurses in polyclinics, as well as representatives of non-governmental and governmental organizations dealing with the disabled. Results of the survey show that, for example, only 2% of the disabled children are not registered in any educational structure from the Hrazdan town region, but in the villages this indicator is 21%. Special or alternative education is extremely limited or unavailable for children with special needs because of the lack of special schools in the region.

Monitoring of home education for the disabled children showed that persons with disabilities are mostly from poor families causing additional hardships. Furthermore, families of youth with disabilities are not aware of their rights. The existing stigma and prejudice in the society: parents do not want their children ridiculed in public; school community, including teachers and parents are not ready to accept youth with special needs.

To read the paper in full, please visit CRRC-Armenia website.

September 10, 2008

Lack of Adult Male Role Models in the Secondary Schools of Armenia

Careful review of research exploring gender themes in Armenia indicates gender issues in the country are currently under-evaluated and translated predominantly into women's issues. Most of the recommendations drawn from different research suggest special policies to support and reinforce their integration into traditionally male-dominated areas. According to CRRC-Armenia fellow Mariam Martirosyan, who studied the impact of the lack of adult male role models or senior male mentorship in Armenian schools, it is dangerous to ignore areas where significant under-representation of men is apparent, since in the long-term view, it may lead to a catastrophic outcome for the Armenian male, the Armenian family unit and Armenian society in general.

Mariam presented the results of the study to the community of school teachers and researchers on September 5, 2008. The conclusions are alarming; the lack of male teachers in contemporary Armenian schools causes misperceptions on masculinity and male gender values among teenagers, often resulting in increased crime rates and delinquent behavior among young male adolescents.

In the attempt to find solutions to the problem presented in the paper, the fellow recommended to attract and engage more men into Armenia's secondary schools by increasing their salaries; to bridge adult and young males via programs like the ZANG program, to assign male students of higher education institutions as mentors for primary, secondary and high-school students; to organize frequent tours to the army or to different factories dealing with technology and construction.

The fellow published an article in the June 2008 issue of "Journal of Education and Human Development" of the Scientific Journals International. The paper is available for download at the CRRC-Armenia website.