SERZH SARGSYAN: DOING WELL, HAVING KNOWLEDGE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PRECONDITION FOR BECOMING GOOD CITIZEN, GOOD PERSON

Noyan Tapan
July 3, 2009

YEREVAN, JULY 3, NOYAN TAPAN. On July 2, RA President Serzh Sargsyan
met with pupils winning in the Kangaroo international competition
in Methematics and those recording the best result in the regions
and with this year's medal-winner school leavers. "I am sure that
many of you have learnt from your parents: "You should do well to
become a good person." Those who are older maybe for many times have
questioned that simple and true thought's being real, but have also
had occasions to make sure that it is indeed so. I am sure that today
you and all of us have made sure that doing well, having knowledge
is a very important precondition for becoming a good citizen, a good
person. I want you to hear from me that your advantage over children
of your age is also that you not only have more knowledge than they,
but also that you distinguish yourself: you distinguish yourself with
your best traits, and to distinguish oneself with the best traits
means to be a strong person, to be ready to resist all challenges
life will still throw down to you," S. Sargsyan said.

As Noyan Tapan was informed by the RA President's Press Office,
an active dialogue over issues interesting the children proceeded
during the meeting.

Senior pupils asked President's opinion about the test system of
examinations. According to S. Sargsyan, the tests, the general test
system, as well as their organizers had shortcomings, but the idea
in itself is positive. He said that one of the most direct ways
of achieving an unbiassed examination process is to reduce human
interference, and the test system pursues the very purpose. According
to S. Sargsyan, after the correction of the recorded shortcomings
the system will work more efficiently in the coming years completely
ensuring fair and transparent selection of students.

The prize-winners asked the President what should be done for schools
to give more medal-winners. S. Sargsyan said that first of all it
depends on pupils' wish and capabilities, but also on the circumstance
how much the state can organize revelation of children's capabilities,
how it can contribute to rise of qualification level of teachers,
scientists and how much it can demonstrate advantages of a person
having knowledge in our society.

In response to the question of whether it is right to join any party
or to politicize from early age S. Sargsyan said that to politicize
means to be active, to be acquainted with ideologies, programs and
to choose between them. However, it does not mean that one should
join any party without fail.

Saying that every one decides himself the extent of involvement in
political processes according to his preferences, S. Sargsyan noted
that being a member of a party in any case should not be formal,
should not be considered as a possibility of receiving a post,
becoming more distinguished in society.

In response to a child's question of whether it is possible that
chess can be taught as a subject at school S. Sargsyan said that
it is not an easy task, as teachers, programs are needed. Meanwhile
he said that some steps are already being taken in that direction:
there can be extra-class trainings from this year and they will be
included in school curricula in the future.

Armavir region's prize-winners asked the President how he treats the
circumstance that the regions lag behind Yerevan by their development
level.

S. Sargsyan noted that as far back as in the Soviet years Yerevan
developed quicker than the regions, and that tendency will be
kept. He said that in spite of that fact, the government works out and
implements programs to give regions more possibility of development
and to mitigate the current inequality.

Boy senior pupils - prize-winners asked RA President's opinion about
the issue of interrupting studies at the age of 18 and doing compulsory
military service. S. Sargsyan said that in his affirmation every young
man should make his contribution to the sacred affair of defending
the homeland, irrespective of his knowledge level. "For some young men
patriotism is gaining knowledge by avoiding military service, for some
it is boasting to foreigners how the Armenian army was able to defend
our borders, while I do not hold that opinion. We are a small state,
but have to maintain a big army. And a big army requires not only
much resources, but also a great number of capable people." According
to S. Sargsyan, those who really want to get education, to take up
science can do it after doing their duty towards the homeland. In
that respect he noted that most of the world-famous scientists did
a military service and it did not hinder their intention to take up
science after the military service.

S. Sargsyan said that it does not mean that a law on calling up for
military service at the age of 18 will be immediately adopted. As a
variant he mentioned the possibility of making changes in study in
the state order system. S. Sargsyan saying that there is a practice
of avoiding military service under the guise of education and science
proved it also by the fact that almost without exception only boys
study at post-graduate study departments.

A prize-winner pupil from Syunik region asked whether S. Sargsyan
had ever imagined when being pupil that Armenia and Artsakh can
be independent states. "Like dozens of thousands of people I did
not imagine that we will have independent Armenia, independent
Artsakh. However, we dreamt of it," the President said.

The pupils also expressed their complaint to the President for
insufficient attention shown to the educational sphere by television,
and S. Sargsyan shared their opinion. He expressed the hope that
journalists present at the meeting will draw conclusions from this
question and the progress tendencies on the part of educational
programs already noticed on television will become a regularity.

At the end of the meeting S. Sargsyan gave awards and souvenirs to
the winners of the Kangaroo International Mathematics Competition
and to this year's medal-winner school leavers.