At the Hrant Dink School of Istanbul

Istanbul’s Hrant Dink School Continues to Educate Students from Armenia


By Talar Hisarlı Horozoğlu

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

ISTANBUL — The Hrant Dink School in the Gedikpasa neighborhood of Istanbul currently has about 80 students (26 in kindergarten, 29 in primary school and 25 in middle school) and 16 teachers, including the principal of the school, a cook and a cleaner. As the spring semester has started, we are committed to make the most out of our educational as well as social programs and activities.

As such we have launched math classes taught in the English and Russian languages for the 3rd and 4th grades. This interdisciplinary initiative aims at improvement of foreign language skills among young students in a more practical and comprehensive method. The earliest feedback is promising.

It is safe to say that our students — their parents to be exact — come from all over Armenia. Most of them are from Yerevan, Gyumri or Vanadzor. Yet we have students who were born in Istanbul as well. Turning to their parents, they generally work as babysitters, cleaner, maids and caregivers (mothers). Fathers are normally involved in the leather manufacturing as well as the jewelry sector.

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All of our teachers hold university diplomas from Armenia and the European Union. They also are coming from various parts of Armenia. We do our best to hire creative and energetic professionals of their respective fields.

Covid cases among students are fairly rare. We had eight cases among the staff during the last two years. Due to some bureaucratic problems not everyone holding foreign passports in Turkey can get vaccinated. Thus, only a few teachers are fully vaccinated, although according to a recent regulations all foreigners can get the vaccines, which certainly is good news for us.

Students at the Hrant Dink School of Istanbul

Following the 2020 Karabakh war, Armenian families are still coming to Turkey in search of work and a slightly better (more bearable) life, which is unfortunate. Many families had left for Armenia when the war erupted but some of them have already returned to Istanbul. The overall diagram of these movements is rather complex. People react to every major economic and political turmoil by packing up and hitting the road.

Our energetic team is devoted to its mission. We are in a constant pursuit of more creative and efficient improvements that may help our students be happier and more complete and confident in their abilities.

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