RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Vahram Dumanyan received today the Delegation headed by USA Peace Corps Armenia Country Director Joan Fairley. Deputy Minister Arthur Martirosyan also attended the meeting.
Vahram Dumanyan stressed the importance of the English language teaching programs and intercultural community programs implemented over the years within the framework of cooperation between the ESCS Ministry and the US Peace Corps. The Minister stated that the first Peace Corps volunteers arrived in Armenia back in 1992, during the most difficult period for Armenia, and helped overcome many difficulties.
According to Vahram Dumanyan, the importance of the Peace Corps activity begins with the name – that is peace, the need for which is currently actual all over the world. He expressed willingness to continue cooperation with the US Peace Corps, expressing hope that the implemented joint programs will contribute to the establishment of global peace, since the main guarantee of security, according to the Minister, is education. Vahram Dumanyan touched upon the English language training programs within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2018 with the US Peace Corps, emphasizing the importance of intercultural dialogue through language.
Joan Fairley, in turn, noted that the US Peace Corps Armenia Office appreciates the support of the ESCS Ministry in the implementation of various programs. He noted that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the U.S. Peace Corps in Armenia, and during this period about 1,100 volunteers have worked in Armenian programs. Joan Fairley presented the activities of the office, as well as current and upcoming programs that include all regions of Armenia.
According to him, the activities of volunteers in all countries have stopped since 2020 due to the pandemic, but the programs implemented in Armenia continued. Volunteers conducted 15 online English language courses with the participation of 150 young people and 20 teachers․ He also underlined that the youth programs implemented by the Corps correspond to the priorities of the RA Government: they are aimed at training the youth of Gavar and Ijevan in the field of life skills and entrepreneurship. Joan Fairley was hopeful that the work of volunteers in Armenia will resume in 2023: the program within this frame will include four regions: Shirak, Lori, Kotayk and Aragatsotn.
The participants of the meeting also highlighted the importance of working with community centers and structures within the framework of youth development programs in terms of providing an informal educational environment.