Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan partook in the opening ceremony of Basic School N 153 after Rafael Ishkhanyan in Yerevan. The event was attended by Yerevan Mayor Hayk Marutyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan, Minister of Education, Science, Culture, Sports Arayik Harutyunyan and others.
Addressing those present, the Prime Minister said:
Dear parents, students and first-graders,
I had been asking myself all the way since morning what I could say from this podium that could come of service to you in your daily life. And I had the idea that nothing can be done without good learning in the 21st century. Nowadays children are too critical of everything. They believe, for example, that one can buy a Mercedes G without getting proper education. Yes, it is quite possible to procure a Mercedes G without proper learning, but you cannot conceive a Mercedes G without strong professional skills.
What kind of future do we want for the Republic of Armenia? Do we only want to be a conventional driver of Mercedes G, or do we want to be its designer, its manufacturer? Do we want to be a consumer or an inventor? Yes, one can achieve some material prosperity, but it is impossible to fly into space without education. I want this to be our choice.
What kind of future do we want for you? Do we want you to wake up in the morning, go to your kitchen, open your fridge, see a variety of foods, like sausages, cheeses, jams, or do we want you to wake up in the morning, have a civilized, healthy breakfast and go to the gym or to your daily business?
Dear schoolchildren, I wish all of us and especially you could realize that every minute and every hour we spend at school is crucial. Our living standard, the future of our country depends on how well we use the academic agenda. I do not want to see you looking for luxury, but I want you to seek happiness in daily life. I assure you that in this case material welfare and the good things of life will come to you in such a way that you will not even notice it.”
Nikol Pashinyan emphasized that he wants Armenian schoolchildren to seek happiness, not gold. “Conveying a feeling of happiness to others should be your most important mission, because making others happy is just what makes us truly happy. And I do believe that your and your parents’ dreams are like that,” he said.
The Head of Government said the government’s greatest task is to make education and learning a national way of life in Armenia. The Premier emphasized that learning is the only way to identifying and tackling our problems.
“I want you to be ready to assume much more responsibility tomorrow. Today you are training you body and your mind at school both literally and figuratively, so that tomorrow, when far greater responsibility falls on your shoulders, you could carry it with pleasure and feel happy. Dear schoolchildren, first of all enjoy the creative happiness of your daily work.
As fate has willed it, today you must wear face masks at school. We all understand how inconvenient it is to live in a mask, I recently noticed that my biggest fear of masks is that it masks our smiles. That is right, but I also noticed that our smile is also reflected in the eyes, or rather, our eyes make it more expressive. Wearing a mask is inconvenient on the one hand, but the good news is that today you can get the habit of being responsible for yourself, your grandparents, your parents and your friends. The responsibility of wearing a mask, practicing social distancing is your small but valuable contribution to the fight against the crisis and the epidemic,” the Prime Minister said.
Nikol Pashinyan congratulated the schoolchildren on the start of the academic year and on the opportunity to attend a reconstructed school. The Prime Minister expressed hope that the new school will be filled with new content, which can be formulated through the following three slogans: “strong and happy individual,” ‘strong and happy nation, strong and happy state.”
“As proud citizens of the Republic of Armenia, you should follow the path of knowledge, education, learning; set yourself higher goals to change your city, your country and the world. You must believe in your ability of changing the world, and you must definitely change the world,” he said.
Nikol Pashinyan walked around the premises to get acquainted with the work done and the amenities available for teachers and schoolchildren. Originally intended for 700 students, the school was rebuilt under the Seismic Safety Improvement Program that the Government is implementing in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank. Following the reconstruction the school can host up to 950 students.
The project’s total budget was 1.4 billion drams. Comfortable conditions have been created in the classrooms, in the gym and banquet halls and in the library. The three-story school is adapted for children with mobility problems. A solar energy system was installed on the roof, which will provide the school with hot water. A new playground was built in the school yard. The school provides 9-year education.
INFORMATION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS DEPARTMENT OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME-MINISTER OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA