My name is Tamar Ekserciyan. I am an educational psychologist from Argentina. I have been living in Armenia for the past two months and doing an internship with UNICEF.
On 14 March 2016, I visited the Bridge of Hope offices in Ijevan. The main propose of my visit was to provide training to psychologists, special pedagogues, school psychologists, practical psychologists working with children with special needs, psychologist students and other representatives in the region. The training was about the relationship between emotions and learning. The meeting was developed within the framework of Together4Armenia, which is an initiative that seeks strengthening of diaspora engagement to the benefit of vulnerable children and local development in Armenia.
I was glad to participate because I believe that Armenia and the diaspora are two inseparable parts of a whole. We are both responsible, and this compels us to combine our efforts. I truly believe education is the key to unlock and develop the true potential and the growth of our Country.
Children with disabilities are among one of the most vulnerable groups in Armenia. They often lack proper access and provision of health and rehabilitation, education and social protection services. In 2014 Armenia ratified a new law on education whereby the whole mainstream education system will gradually become inclusive by 2025 which signifies a transformation process for special schools, expansion of inclusive schools, offering the long awaited opportunity for children with disabilities to get quality education along with their peers who do not have disability. I know that much work is being done in Armenia to accomplish this objective. I believe that a fundamental part to achieve this it is to train professionals not only with theoretical but also practical knowledge. I consider that it is very important to work with the specialists not only of the capital city but also of the different regions of the country.