YEREVAN — On October 1, Tekeyan Cultural Association of the United States and Canada Central Board member Arto Manoukian met with members of the administrative and teaching staff of the Tekeyan Berdzor School who after the evacuation of the town now are living in Yerevan at the TCA Center on Koghbatsi Street. The meeting was arranged by TCA Representative in Armenia Gayane Muratyan and former Berdzor School principal Anahit Kosakyan.
Manoukian spoke about the various TCA programs in the Republic of Armenia, including the aid to four schools through the Sponsor a Teacher program, the Tekeyan Awards in various fields of arts and culture, and book publications.
The seventeen female teachers spoke about their difficulties. They are asking for an increase in their pensions. The Ministry of Education has various administrative demands that appear to be obstructing their path to suitable employment in Armenia. The majority of the teachers remain unemployed and those who did find jobs after resettling in Armenia were not even able to pay the rent for their habitations because the rate of pay was so low.
The teachers spoke in a patriotic way about the program to repopulate Artsakh. They went to Berdzor and prepared talented students, but the 44-day war of 2020 forced them to return to Yerevan emptyhanded. They have been displaced twice. They ask for help in obtaining suitable employment.
The displaced students from Berdzor have their own difficulties. Due to a lack of income or scholarships, they are unable to obtain higher education and are forced to seek work. Four lives were also lost during the war from the school body.
There were two teachers present who taught Armenian language and literature in the school’s renovated first classroom, named after Saro Manoukian. This renovation in the school conducted by means of aid through TCA was followed by many others, and the Berdzor School had become one of the best schools in Artsakh. Now its former teachers and students only are left with the memories of its achievements.