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WHERE DO WE GO AFTER SCHOOL?

Hasmik Soghomonyan

In 2014 there are 12346 school graduates, for whom the first month of the summer is going to be really hot. Just before the exams, I looked through the statistics of previous years to study the dynamics of how many pupils are taking united graduation exams and what are their exams results. Below are the number of pupils who are taking above mentioned 8 exams, as a foreign language depending on the school program and pupil’s choice it can be English, Persian, German, Italian or other language.

Chart# 1a: Number of students taking graduation exams (2010-2013)

Chart# 1b: Number of students taking graduation exams (2010-2013)

From the diagram above one can see that the number of pupils taking final graduation exams is decreasing year by year. Extremely low numbers were registered in 2011, as that year schools didn’t have graduates, so the exams were taking those who didn’t succeed in 2010. The phenomenon of not having graduates in 2011 is connected with the hard socio-political situation of Armenia and war back in 1990s. Those years are called “dark years” in Armenia, as the country suffered the blockade, having electricity and water supply only for 2-4 hours per day. Apart from it, that period was the war time between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In this situation many men didn’t return to their families from war zone or had been absent for a long time, so hardly any child was born during several years (1992-95). The overall tendency of decreasing number of graduating pupils might be also an indicator of general decreasing number of population in Armenia.

Along with comparing number of pupils taking the united state exams of school graduation, it is interesting to look at their exams grades and compare them throughout of several years.

Chart #2 a): Exams results for 2010-2013.

Chart #2 b):

Looking at the dynamics of average scores one can notice that they are getting worse and 2011 has registered the lowest results from almost all exams. In 2011 united stage exams were taking those pupils who failed previous years. Among one of the most striking numbers is the average score from the Physics registered in 2011, which is 5.3 whereas the passing positive score in 20 points system is considered 8 points. However, after that there is a positive change and increase in the average scores. This was possible due to the changes in the educational system and review of the entrance exams content.

 

“We used to get many complaints from the pupils’ parents that the entrance tests were too complicated for the children, weren’t based solely on the school program and caused a lot of stress for children. So the best solution we saw was to ease a little bit exams, so that children won’t be afraid of it and would have good final results”, mentioned director of Attestation and Testing Center, Gagik Melikyan in one of his interviews. He said that they have eased the graduation exams and made step forward to the pupils’ needs, so that pupils would attend school classes and don’t concentrate only on the final exams, but on the educational process generally. After 2011 one can observe the average scores of the exams had gone little bit higher.