Education is a strong component of FAR’s Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Program (BCPP), and professional development for teachers in one of Armenia’s most impoverished regions is a crucial part of this. Recently, BCPP enabled 17 teachers from 12 different schools in Armenia’s Berd Region to complete the qualifications necessary to continue in their careers.
Prior to 2020, primary and secondary school teachers were not required to hold a university degree. However, earlier this year as anticipated, the Armenian government amended the requirements for teaching qualifications, putting many in a difficult position of having to fulfill credit requirements, or risk losing their jobs.
Anush Sharyan, 41, was one such teacher. This year, she earned her bachelor’s degree from the Ijevan Branch of Yerevan State University’s Department of Pedagogy and Psychology with help from FAR. Anush works at the Aygepar School, an elementary, middle and high school located along the Azerbaijan border.
“I am a teaching assistant and I help children who have mental, physical and developmental difficulties with their lessons. In 2015, I started university as I didn’t have a college degree,” said Anush, who said she had anticipated soon needing one. “It was hard for the first three years, as I had to sell our farm animals to pay for my tuition, which was 280,000 AMD (about $580) per year. FAR jumped in and paid for the tuition for the last two years, which was great support.”