RA Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Zhanna Andreasyan received the delegation headed by Maxime Longangue, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Armenia.

ESCS Deputy Minister Arthur Martirosyan also attended the meeting.

Welcoming Maxime Longangue, the ESCS Minister highlighted the significance of the efficient implementation of the Armenia-Council of Europe Action Plan 2023-2026 and noted that it also contributes to the successful implementation of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement for the benefit of democracy and the rule of human rights in Armenia.

Zhanna Andreasyan emphasized the significance of broad prospects for cooperation in the fields of education, culture and sports and stressed that these areas are already regulated by a strategic document, one of which, the “RA Education Development State program until 2030”, was approved by the National Assembly as a law.

Zhanna Andreasyan also emphasized that Armenia is actively engaged in various CoE platforms, including the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice of the Council of Europe (CDPPE), the Cultural Routes platform, which will contribute to the advancement and strengthening of cooperation with the Council of Europe in the scope of coordination of the ESCS Ministry.

Thankful for the reception, Head of the Council of Europe Office in Armenia Maxime Longangue noted that the Council of Europe Action Plan for Armenia is a four-year strategic policy document aimed at further bringing Armenian legislation, democratic institutions in the field of human rights, the rule of law and democracy in line with European standards. Longangue also underlined that Armenia is an important partner, and the development and advancement of relations is one of their priorities. Touching upon the joint programs, the parties considered the details of the Council of Europe program “Protecting the rights of Armenian children in post-war context”, within which it is planned to conduct a needs assessment and training of specialists providing socio-psychological support to children.

Emphasizing the importance of the program, Zhanna Andreasyan informed that as of September 2023, the position of a psychologist has been introduced in all RA schools, the Republican Pedagogical-Psychological and Territorial Pedagogical-Psychological Support Centers are also operating, but the challenging situations require new efforts, as well as new training programs to improve the capabilities of these structures for advancement objectives. It was noted that the main focus will be on children forcibly displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh, particularly those who are left without family and parental care.

The parties also discussed the “Strengthening Human Rights Safeguards in Armenia” program, as well as prospects for cooperation in VET, with a focus on universal inclusivity, work-based learning, and collaboration in other areas.

Minister Zhanna Andreasyan informed that the law “On Vocational Education and Training” has recently been adopted in the National Assembly, which, among other reforms, clarifies the guiding principles of state policy in the field of vocational education and training and state guarantees of the human right to education. During the meeting, the sides also touched upon the prospects for cooperation in the field of youth policy, as well as other issues of bilateral interest.