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UCLA Education and Teach for Armenia Present Forum, Oct. 24

By Joanie Harmon

Event at UCLA Luskin will reimagine education in Armenia through new education strategy, nascent tech innovations.

The UCLA School of Education & Information Studies, Teach For Armenia, and the UCLA Promise Armenian Institute will co-host Armenia’s Promise Forum on October 24, to take place at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center. The forum, funded by an anonymous donor, will bring together 100 education experts, leaders, policymakers, professionals, students, and their parents for a daylong conversation to answer the question: “How do we prepare students in Armenia and Artsakh to shape the nation’s future?”

“We look forward to listening to and learning from the experiences of students, teachers, and leaders from Armenia in order to understand their educational challenges and innovations,” says Jody Priselac, SEIS associate dean for university partnership schools, and faculty member of the UCLA Teacher Education Program. “Our goal is to identify opportunities for collaboration across all of our organizations to reimagine education in Armenia. We are excited about the possibilities!”

Fifty years ago, Armenia was regarded as a hub for innovation until the collapse of the Soviet Union brought great hardships to the nation. A massive earthquake, an energy crisis, and conflict with its neighbors hampered its sustained success as a center for education. Today, Armenia continues to grapple with this reality. 

Over the past decade, large amounts of investments have been made, especially from members of the Armenian diaspora in the United States, the second largest Armenian population in the world. In fact, Armenia is home to a nascent tech sector that is beginning to flourish. Moreover, the government of Armenia has recently introduced a new education strategy which has opened up new opportunities for innovation within the education sector. Approximately the same size as Los Angeles Unified School District, system-level transformation is possible with the right conditions, strategy, and resources. A supporters dinner will then be held following the main event. 

In addition to the events at UCLA, Teach For Armenia is also organizing an Educator Summit on Oct. 23 in Yerevan, at the American University of Armenia, UCLA’s affiliate in Armenia. Bringing together 200 attendees in Armenia’s capital city, the summit will provide educators with the chance to grapple with the theme of the forum.