Borderline villages in Tavush often have poor quality of life and very basic educational opportunities for kids. To fill in that gap, COAF launched the project of SMART Rooms as part of the SMART Initiative to transform rural Armenia by leveraging technology and education.
A couple of months ago a new SMART Room was opened at the local school in the village of Vazashen. It will serve over 80 local students. The children will now have a modern classroom connected to the COAF SMART Center in Debet, as well as other COAF-supported villages.
“It is very inspiring to have such an educational environment in a borderline village,” says Mary Sarhatyan, the Vazashen SMART Room coordinator. “The kids were happy to learn they could study in such a modern setting! Vazhashen is a borderline community that has been almost “cut off” from the outside world. Many local families had no chance to make use of modern technologies. The SMART Room, equipped with a SMART board and the Internet, will help us connect with the world.”
School teachers often conduct their lessons in the newly-constructed SMART Room. “Children can accomplish technology-related assignments here,” they say. “Also, the room has a heating system, so the children will never get cold.”
“We conduct lots of extracurricular activities here,” Mary Sarhatyan adds. “Soon we’ll start running English lessons and other classes here.”
The SMART Room will be open to the whole community. Here, the village residents can conduct meetings and workshops on various issues.
“COAF is trying to change children’s mindset, offering them smart solutions, which is very important,” Mary Sarhatyan says. “Almost 20 kids have already assigned for English Access Microscholarship project jointly conducted by COAF and US Embassy. Launching more and more classes at the SMART Room will definitely instill more energy into our community.”
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