Education Improvement has been a priority for public investment in Armenia since the late
1990s. The government of Armenia has determined to reduce poverty by increasing access to
and improving the quality of general secondary education. Considerable progress has been
made to improve access to and the quality of general education. Armenia has achieved nearly
universal enrollment rates for elementary grades 1 to 4 and lower secondary grades 5 to 9
levels. In 2009, the net enrollment rates for elementary education were 99 percent for both
urban and rural areas. The rate for high school education was 96.2 percent for urban areas and
99.4 percent for rural areas. Various investments have contributed considerably to the
development of general secondary education but have also resulted in the relative neglect of
preschool and post higher education.
A wide range of reforms have been implemented to improve the quality of education.
Government developed the National Curriculum Framework as well as new uniform standards
and syllabi for all the schools. The general education system has been extended from 10 to 12
years and there are now high schools that offer specialized and vocational educations.
Government has created an Assessment and Testing Center to enhance the capacity of
assessing student performance and has introduced a unified entrance examination for
universities and colleges. There is also a plan to provide Internet access to all schools in
Armenia in 2013, which will allow students and teachers even in rural areas to be readily
connected to the most up-to-date information. The government has introduced a mandatory
teacher certification system under which teachers need to take compulsory training and be
tested every five years; it is also developing comprehensive teacher professional development
policies, including a ranking system and rank-based salary system.
Investments in general education and reforms have contributed to the improvement of student
learning and the development of the school system. In accordance to the results of one of the
major international assessments, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study,
Armenian students’ performance at fourth and eighth grade levels not only improved
significantly between 2003 and 2007, but also exceeded that of many wealthier countries in
Europe and Central Asia. In addition, Armenia’s education system was selected as one of the
20 “world’s most improved school systems” in a 2010 McKinsey’s report.
In higher education, reforms started after Armenia joined the Bologna Process in 2005. The
Bologna Process is a series of ministerial meetings and agreements between European
countries designed to ensure comparability in the standards and quality of higher education
qualifications. Presently 47 courtiers participate at this process. As a result of Bologna Process,
enrollment at the higher education increased to 28.6 percent in 2008 from 19.6 percent in 2001.
This level of enrollment compares well to countries at a similar economic level in the Europe
and Central Asia region, but needs to improve to accelerate economic growth.
The government adopted a higher education financing strategy in 2011, which addressed the
weaknesses in the current higher education financing system. Based on that strategy, the
government plans to introduce various forms of institutional and student financing, including a
Competitive Innovation Fund to support demand driven projects, needs-based scholarships, and
scholarships for priority fields. The plan is to extend this fund to also cover Armenian students
from Diaspora that would like to attend higher education in Armenia.
Presently there is an ongoing Education Quality and Relevance Project for $25 million financed
by World Bank to improve quality of preschool, secondary education, and higher education. The
purpose of this project is to enhance school learning in general education and improve the
school readiness of children entering primary education by supporting increases in preschool
enrollment, to improve teacher education and professional development, and to implement high
school reform. This project is an important step in meeting Bologna requirements for the higher
education system. It also strengthens the quality and financial foundation of higher education
through supporting Competitive Innovation Fund to promote the implementation of innovative
enhancement projects, thus improving the capacity of higher education institutions.
The World Bank works closely with the Ministry of Education and Science which is responsible
for the overall policy setting as well as for the implementation of the World Bank-financed
projects. UNICEF also financially contributed preschool teacher training. The World Band
funded Education Quality and Relevance Project has accomplished some key task which
Training of 8,000 teachers.
Installing computer network to 459 schools in remote areas.
Providing hardware (one computer, one multi-functional printer, and UPS) to 1,360
schools to support their administrative activities.
Establishing resource centers in 91 high schools where library and computer labs were
upgraded and combined.
Providing specialized training to 2,300 high school teachers.
Ministry of Education and Science continues to focus on the reform of the general secondary
education system and addressing key policy issues in both higher and preschool education.
They are planning to increase preschool enrollment; improving the quality of education through
enhanced teacher education and professional development; completing the transfer to 12-year
general education from 10 years system; and implementing a sustainable higher education
Source: Armenia Partnership: Country Partnership Snapshot, by World Bank, October 2012.