Improving the overall quality of education in rural communities is crucial to COAF’s mission. Infrastructure improvements, expanded program offerings and capacity-building of local educators are the pillars of our education work. COAF is providing tens of thousands of children in rural Armenia access to a world-class education – from cutting-edge technologies that revolutionize learning to English language programs that promote linguistic fluency. Students can now access the world in ways that were not possible. As a result, generations of children have access to global opportunities. COAF’s education work seeks to empower students, to shape their own futures, and take their communities to new heights. We focus on the following priority areas in our work to provide better, student-centered education in Armenia’s villages:
Expanding English language instruction in rural communities throughout Armenia is a key part of COAF’s work for Armenia’s youth. Our partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan has been instrumental to bringing language instruction to more than 40 villages across the country. In recent years, many children that started learning English in their home village through COAF program offerings have gone on to pursue their studies overseas as exchange students in the U.S and beyond.
COAF fosters the development of information and communication technologies into teaching and learning processes for all subjects. This initiative focuses on training teachers on proper usage of Smart Boards and other ICTs, where students can learn to use PowerPoint and other presentation and research tools. Our work of bringing the latest teaching technologies to rural Armenian classrooms has recently been supported through partnerships with the Fundamental Scientific Library (FSL) of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.
In the past, educators in remote villages received little professional support and a lack of updated training programs. We work to connect local educators with the world’s best practices in teaching and learning. Better facilities and access to the internet make it easier for teachers to connect with resources, as well as with each other. COAF connects rural teachers with their own colleagues working in villages around the region, so they can share experiences on how the best student-centered methods work in practice.
For many students, school can be as much the time in the classroom as it is the time outside the classroom. From a first-of- its-kind girls’ soccer team, to award-winning photo-video clubs, competitive mathematics and judo clubs, and our own Summer School programs, COAF supports students who want to bring their own passions into organized activities at school. COAF Summer School and extracurricular provides children with the resources to fill their idle times with the interests that most inspire them.
The next generation of Armenians’ success depends on an understanding of the foundation of democracy. To be active citizens, students must learn to actively engage with systems of government and organization. COAF’s education team works closely with students and educators to set up student councils, debate clubs and more, to provide youth with hands-on experiences in democracy. Our goal is to help provide students with the tools they will need to succeed as citizen leaders in a constantly changing society.
In a globalized age, Armenian youth should be able to interact with the world beyond their own villages. COAF works to connect youth with opportunities that will help them reach their own unique professional aspirations. We work with partners in higher education, and professionals from a diversity of industries to connect students with focused workshops and professional orientation programs.