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EXPENSIVE SCHOOL GRADUATION

Hasmik Soghomonyan

Everyone expects a little bit more traffic jams in the capital because this holiday includes not only

pupils but their families and relatives, school teachers and Government officials. There is also additional workload for police on this day as many youngsters are renting cars to drive with their classmates despite the fact that they don’t have the driving license. According to the official announcement by Police of RA, on May 23 police departments will be holding an enhanced service in all areas where there will be school graduation mass celebrations and events to ensure public order and safety of participants.

Though secondary education is considered public and free, it turns out that school graduation may become quite an expensive ceremony. Finishing school is an impressive stage in the life to sum up and is worth celebration, still the celebration standards are getting higher year by year.

There are some traditional things to do in Armenia when graduating from school: organize the farewell performance preferably not in the school hall but in the bigger one; buy presents for teachers; arrange shootings and the publication of graduation vignette with individual and group photos in it and finally arrange the final party/banquet in a restaurant. This is just the preliminary list of school graduation activities. Creativity and fantasy of young and enthusiastic youngsters have no limits.

In this regard there are many ways to build businesses targeted at school graduates. One of the examples is to order scenarios for the farewell show. In social networks (in facebook particularly) one can find different pages offering development of scenarios with advantageous conditions for graduating pupils. Maybe something is being lost in the process of more professional approach to these ceremonies? Initially the aim of this farewell performance was to give pupils and teachers space for more non-formal communication, expressing their thoughts and wishes to each other, expressing gratitude for the teachers’ hard work, make jokes about all the situations that took place before during school routine and say goodbye to each other. Nowadays, among pupils there is competition to be cooler and to hire more prestigious and creative script writer for their show. According to a pupil who studies in the class of 20-25 people, each of students contributed 20.000 AMD ($48) to the pool for scenario price. So, the average price for a good scenario for the school graduation performance is approximately $ 1000[KM1] .

Generally graduation expenses can be broken into two big parts: official part and the graduation party. For the official part expenses vary from 20.000- 45.000 AMD ($50-100) per pupil. This includes buying presents for the teachers, renting hall, arranging the vignette publication, decoration of the classroom for the last lessons and other logistical issues. Though there is not upper limit for the prices. As one of the former graduates Artur Totolyan mentioned, some years ago each of his classmates spent 100.000 AMD ($240) as they preferred to have some fancy stuff, too (for instance shooting of video clip to remain as a memory from the school years).

As for the leisure part, organization of the final party is not very easy task to complete. For the end of May (when usually pupils celebrate their school graduation) restaurants may be booked, so the party should be planned beforehand. The costs will vary depending on the type and scale of the graduation party the class would prefer. There are no upper limits here also the average expenses vary from $40-80 per pupil.

With preliminary calculations the school graduations expense for a pupil may vary from $80-200. Those expenses don’t include visits to professional make-up artists, hairdressers, new dresses and car renting to look cool on this unique day.