International conference concerning issues of repatriation
Participants of the conference were: Armen Ashotyan, minister for education and science, Gagik Yeganyan, leader of the migration service of the ministry for territorial administration,
Zdislaw Raczinski, ambassador of Poland in the Republic of Armenia, the Russian organisation
«Russotrudnitschestwo», Tina Laufer, leader of the DAAD office in Armenia, Virgin Artot, director of the program “Targeted initiative for Armenia”, Olga Tscherkes, coordinator of the international program of the wellfare organisation AWO (Arbeiterwohlfahrt), Volger Tegeler, general manager of the AWO, experts Karin and Alexander Jaskorski and others.
Ruben Mirzakhanyan, rector of the university, reported that an Adaptation Centre was established in the university on the initiative of the Pedagogical University and the welfare organisation «AWO Heimgarten» that the project RECEA (Reintegration Centre Armenia) implements: “Language courses, social and psychological support, various cultural events help in solving many problems of the Armenians who remigrate from EU in their country of origin and promote their social reintegration.”
According to education minister Armen Ashotyan the problems which were discussed during the conference are in the focus of attention of the ministry for education and science. In connection with the return of children and teenagers he underlined the problems that are connected with the organisation of their school education and unsatisfactory mother tongue competence.
“For the Armenian diaspora various education deficits arise at different times. In this context there are differences in the opportunity of the provision of services in the field of education in general schools and in universities.
The solution of this problem acquires the creation of a flexible system that every returnee can see opportunities and chances of an affordable continuation of the school education in Armenia.”, Armen Ashotyan said.
Gagik Yeganyan, leader of the migration service of the ministry of territorial administration, considers that the reintegration of the people after the return in the home country is important in every case. It depends on the solution of this problem whether a returnee stays in Armenia or emigrates again. As after several years abroad one feels how much he or she changed in many respects.
G. Yeganyan reported that in the state program of the control in the field of migration for the years 2012 until 2016 different solutions of the stated problems are provided, inter alia support of home returnees in searching for an occupation, recognition of their acquired skills from abroad, diploma, qualifications, creation of conditions for ongoing school education of children from home returnees, consolidation of the relations between governmental and nongovernmental organisations.
“NOBODY IS INTERESTED IN BRAIN DRAIN FROM ARMENIA, it just harms our collaboration with the international community of countries”, said Tina Laufer, who is leading the DAAD office in Armenia, on the science conference.
She spoke of the DAAD as an organisation working in the field of education with various structures and fighting against emigration. “We are endeavoured to create an atmosphere which is conducive for the bilateral cooperation between students.” Tina Laufer is conviced that you can counteract emigration through collaboration and support of other countries.
Director of the program “Goal-orientated initiative for Armenia” Virgin Artot characterized repatriation as a long and complicated process. Responsible state institutions, international social organisations and the diaspora are the main actors for an appropriate, efficient and sustainable handling of the process of reintegration. “In today’s initiative there is a series of governmental and non-governmental structures involved. The projects purpose the support of repatriation and the avoidance of a large-scale emigration. Indeed, the language, the education and the family are important, today it is necessary to promote school education, to retrain returnees and to create favourable conditions for repatriation.”, declared Virgin Arto.
Leader of the AWO Heimatgarten Adaptation Centre in Yerevan, Dr.habil.Prof. Melanya Astvatsatryan, outlined with her presentation “RECEA-Centre in Armenia: Current Situation, Activities, Problems and Perspectives” the current situation with the returnee children who visit the centre, the work orientation, activity of the centre and specificity of the language course and the socialisation and integration processes during the education of Armenian children and teenagers as well. It was emphasised that country-specific differences can easily cause intercultural misunderstandings and even conflicts.
The problems remigrants are facing - organisatory, social, psychological, culture-specific, language are in the focus of the centre. Olga Tscherkes, coordinator of the international program of the welfare organisation AWO, underlined that the success of every project depends on the right choice of the partner for the implementation. “When you see the work of the teachers who work with the children who returned to their home country it can be maintained that Armenia is a reliable partner.”, said O. Tscherkes. Among the returnees’ children significant progress in coping with difficulties is noticed which is traced to psychological and age-related characteristics. She also stressed the great significance of the culture and information work with the children that contributes the integration in the field of education and social domain; the children and teenagers feel like at home thanks to free communication.
Armineh Awakyan, decan of the Faculty for Special Education, made the resources of the development of a coherent speech of the children of immigrant families a subject of her presentation. Dr. Volker Tegeler, Prof. Melania Astvazatryan, leader of the chair for methodology of foreign language teaching and leader of the RECEA in the Pedagogical University and other participants of the conference gave presentations about problems of reintegration.
At the conclusion of the science conference Volker Tegeler, managing director of AWO, gave thanks to the Pedagogical University for the organisation of the conference, the close collaboration and active participation. He expressed his conviction that the further cooperation will contribute to the social reintegration of the returnees.
The science conference adopted a declaration about the collaboration between the Armenian State Pedagogical University and the AWO.