The 2014 interview of the President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian allows us to evaluate what has been achieved and what has been lost since then. In my opinion, today, the education of Armenia is going through its most difficult times in the recent history since the realities of what is happening clearly show the demolition of the barely restored and established traditions and foundations achieved over the past two and a half decades.
I don’t take into account Ter-Petrosyan’s presidency. In those years, his henchmen finally and irrevocably, with outright hatred, destroyed the Soviet educational system with all its achievements, both good and bad, including the achievements of the unique educational system of Armenia.
Ter-Petrosyan had a task to destroy, and he brilliantly performed it in all spheres and directions.
Unfortunately, today, clear analogies are visible with what was happening in the period of notorious Levon Ter-Petrosyan who, by the way, hasn’t been punished for his actions.
The current government pursues the same destructive policy as Ter-Petrosyan once did, including, and above all, in the educational system and the spiritual culture of Armenians. Attacks on the Armenian Apostolic Church by the minions of the current government testify to this.
Comment by Vigen Avetisyan
Education is Armenia’s greatest power: President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York Vartan Gregorian
Mr. Gregorian, I listened to your lectures at the American University. I noticed that there was some discontent. You said that not only the Diaspora should have grievances and that Armenia should also contribute. What problems does the educational system in Armenia face today?
“I just told about my observations. I said that I understand why: today, there are many problems in Armenia in all areas – military, scientific, agricultural, in all areas. There are no funds, but I urged our oligarchs to invest in our best educational institutions. Among them are our academy, university, and library. We cannot be strong without a strong culture. This was my covenant.”
What is the situation now?
“Now is better than before. In the 90s, everyone burned books and trees to stay warm. They sold everything to survive. Now, fortunately, we are not in such a state. But since we are now aiming for the future, we must do everything possible to make investments in all the centers that can play an important role.
In my opinion, education is the greatest strength of our country. Everything that we invest in education is invested in our future. If the youth gets weak, the country will have no future.”
Do you follow the rate of emigration?
“I’m watching everything. Unfortunately, we have what we have, but I see how many people have returned and now work here.”
In terms of education, which path should Armenia take – a more European, American, or Russian?
“We have always been both here and there in our history. We must know the language of our neighbors, we must know Russian language and literature, as well as European languages. We never chose just one of them.”
You noted that we have progress in education and science.
“We have to make investments everywhere. We have to go along with those who want to make investments. If Germany wants to make investments, very well. If France wants it, it is also great. We will accept everything from everyone.”
What is the key to your success?
“Faith, certain values, and principles that guide me.”
P.S. Let me remind you that by the decision of the current government of Armenia, the Ministry of Diaspora and the Ministry of Culture were shut down and disbanded.