NON-STATE ACTORS IN EDUCATION

1. Terminology

2. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision 

2.2 Non-state education provision 

2.3 Other types of schools 

3. Governance and regulations

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education

3.2 Multi-level regulations 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring 

 

  1. Terminology

The 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015) establishes regulations for all education levels in Armenia. While the law does not define 'non-state educational institutions, it provides individuals the right to choose between state or non-state institutions for their education. Additionally, the law states that non-state educational institutions can have any organizational form that is in agreement with legal rules and can be established by an individual or legal entity and must be registered and have a valid license to operate. The Law on Education (1999 as amended in 2015) and the Law on General Education (2009) include regulations for non-state educational institutions and specifications for "community schools" and "international schools."

The 2005 Law on Preschool Education also provides for ECCE educational institutions to be established by a community or non-state education.

 

  1. Typology of provision

2.1 State education provision

State schools

In Armenia, most education at primary (four years beginning at age six, called elementary), lower secondary (five years beginning at age 10, called secondary) and higher secondary education (two years beginning at age 15, called high school education) levels are public schools (97%). The state provides free and compulsory education for 12 years and covers all levels from elementary education to higher secondary education.

Non-state managed, state schools

No information was found.

Non-state funded, state schools

The Law on General Education (2009) (art.35) dictates that the state and local budgets are the public educational institutions primary funding sources. However, it also allows individuals or legal persons from Armenia or foreign countries to finance state schools.

2.2 Non-state education provision

Independent, non-state schools

Non-state schools in Armenia are owned, managed, and financed by non-state organizations, primarily through student tuition fees. According to the 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015), non-state schools must comply with the state standards of education but can, with previous state authorization, include alternative syllabuses in their educational project and school charter.

International schools are established and owned exclusively by non-state actors (including foundations) or interstate and intergovernmental agreements. These educational institutions can implement their programs in foreign languages with previous state approval. However, if they have Armenian students, they must include Armenian subjects and language following the state educational standards. The Law on General Education (2009) also clarifies that there cannot be more than 11 educational institutions implementing these types of programs and no more than four in the same foreign language.

State-funded (government-aided), non-state schools

The community leader establishes a community educational institution on behalf of the community with government and local budgets. These institutions are created following the 2001 Law on State Non-Profit Organizations  in the legal form of a "community non-commercial organization."

Contracted, non-state schools

No information was found.

2.3 Other types of schools

Homeschooling

Homeschooling is authorized by the law when learners are unable to attend an educational institution for health reasons. According to the  1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015), educational programs must follow the learner's needs through on-site education, distance learning, and external studies (family and self-education) but must comply with the state educational standards. The the 2004  Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (as lastly amended in 2021), the possibility of higher education programs through different instruction forms, including distance learning. The government must approve the procedures for instructions in the form of distance learning. 

Market contracted (Voucher schools)

No information was found.

Unregistered/Unrecognised schools

No information was found.

 

  1. Governance and regulations

In Armenia, the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports (MESCS) oversees the state policy, national guidelines, and regulations for non-state actors in education from preschool to tertiary education. Within the MESCS, the licensing department is responsible for registering non-state actors and the Education Inspectorate for their subsequent monitoring and evaluation for all education levels. Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) governance is under four different Ministries: The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports (MESCS), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, and the Ministry of Territorial Affairs. Higher education is under the responsibility of the MESCS and the National Center for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) as the accreditation and quality assurance entity.

The Law on Bodies of Self-Government (2002) provides for the Head of the Region (Yerevan Mayor) and the communities to supervise and ensure state policy implementation on education under their jurisdiction, especially for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). 

Vision:  The "State Development Program for Education of the Republic of Armenia until 2030" includes two of its strategic approaches to achieve the main goal of education development: to foster social dialogue and partnerships with the private sector and civil society to strengthen the education sector. Within the partnerships section, the program states that "the implementation of some functions and educational support services will be transferred to professional organizations in the professional field, trusted by the public. State support will be provided to programs initiated by international and local organizations following the principles and principles of education development, which will be included in the education development program package based on professional expertise results”.

 

3.1 Regulations by distinct levels of education
 

The 2005 Law on Preschool Education defines a "preschool educational institution" as an organization with the status of a legal entity that implements at least one type of preschool education program based on a relevant license. Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) covers children ages zero to six years old. Preschool institutions differ by age group; nurseries (ages zero - three), kindergartens (ages three-six), and preschool (ages five-six) and by type of ownership: state, community-affiliated, or non-state educational institution.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval:  The 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015) states that preschool institutions must include information on their play, sleeping, and eating spaces according to sanitary requirements. 

The state educational standards of pre-school education are mandatory for all pre-school education institutions regardless of their organization and/or legal status. Standards include monitoring mechanisms, requirements of the pre-school educational institution environment, institutional disaster preparedness, maximum student ratio, and the main areas of education and components of the educational programs. The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports (MESCS) determines the maximum number of students in a group according to the pupils' age and level. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Licence: See Multi-level regulations.

Financial operation

Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.

Taxes and subsidies: See Multi-level regulations.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: Non-state preschools can select their teaching methods and educational programs such as alternative pedagogies, experimental educational programs, or international programs. International preschools and educational programs in foreign languages can only be established by non-state providers or those established under intergovernmental agreements with previous state authorization. Regardless of the preschool educational program or ownership, all ECCE centers must comply with the state educational standards established by the MESCS. Preschool education must be provided in the Armenian language with certain exceptions specified by law, such as in preschool education to national minorities or international preschools in foreign languages. National minorities may organize their programs in their mother tongue or national language with compulsory education in Armenian.

Teaching profession: All staff at state and non-state preschools must comply with the minimum professional qualifications established by the MESCS to work at a preschool institution and are under labor legislation regulation. Non-state preschool can set their hiring process and procedures based on their institutional charter.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: According to the the Law on General Education (2009)(art.35), a non-state educational institution implementing general education programs in the manner prescribed by the Republic of Armenia legislation may organize its educational services on a paid basis, including charging tuition fees from students following the given educational institution's charter. The Law on Preschool Education (2005) sets for the governor, the mayor of Yerevan, proposes tuition fees for the services provided by pre-school educational institutions to the approval of the relevant competent body.

Admission selection and processes: Admission of a child to a pre-school educational institution, regardless of the organizational-legal aspect, is carried out based on an application and contract between the parent (legal representative of the child), the institution, and the parent or legal representative of the child (Law on Preschool Education 2005). During the students' admission process, the institution's management must inform the parents (legal representatives) of the charter and other documents that regulate the institution's activities.

Policies for vulnerable groups: The Law on Preschool Education (2005) set that children belonging to a national minority, a foreign citizen, a stateless person, or a dual citizen can choose the language of instruction such that they are taught in the child's mother tongue or in an institution having a course in that language, regardless of nationality.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.

Inspection: See Multi-level regulations.

Child assessment: The examinations are defined as “the evaluation of compliance with the methodology of primary school education and the methodology of educational programs”.

Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: See Multi-level regulations.

Licence: See Multi-level regulations.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH): The 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015) set that all educational institutions must ensure the conditions for a safe and secure institutional environment for physical development and health promotion of learners that incentivize personal hygiene and a healthy lifestyle.

Financial operation

Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.

Taxes and subsidies: See Multi-level regulations.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: In Armenia, every school must comply with the state curriculum and learning standards for general education; however, schools can use additional alternative syllabuses as long they do not contradict the state educational standard and with previous state approval. According to the Law on General Education (2009), international programs in foreign languages can be implemented exclusively by non-state educational institutions or institutions established by interstate and intergovernmental agreements with previous approval from the Armenian government. For Armenian citizens studying in foreign education, the Armenian language and subjects teaching is obligatory following the state standard of general education.

Textbooks and learning materials: Upon approval, non-state educational institutions may include alternative syllabuses such as experimental education, alternative general education, and international programs as long they do not contradict the state educational standard and with previous state approval.

Teaching profession: All teachers must align with the teacher's qualifications and job profiles established by the MESCS. The list of profiles includes managerial, pedagogical, and supporting staff which non-state educational institutions must comply with when hiring their teaching or institutional staff.

Corporal punishment: The 2009 Law on General Education, dictates that every student has the right to be protected from any physical, psychological pressure, exploitation, actions, or inaction of school staff or students, violating the student's rights or violating his / her honor dignity.

Other safety measures and COVID-19:  he MESCS developed a Guide on the organization of activities in general education institutions in the conditions of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which includes guidelines of organization of events, rules for the staff, school disinfection, classroom staffing and furnishing, as well as curricula modification and class schedule.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: A non-state educational institution implementing general education programs may organize its educational services on a paid basis, including charging tuition fees to students as enshrined in the charter of each educational institution. The Law on General Education (2009) specifies that the charters of all educational institutions must be approved by the government before implementation and cannot contradict governmental laws and regulations. According to the 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015), a non-state education institution's financing criterion per student may not be lower than the financing criteria established by the state standard for similar state education institutions (Art.47).

Admission selection and processes:  The 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015) and the 2009 Law on General Education, specify that non-state institutions can set their admission procedures but must inform every parent or legal representative about its regulations and institutional fees. It concludes with enacting a contract between the educational institution, the student, and the parent or legal representatives. Testing for admission to the first year of school of general education is prohibited.

Policies for vulnerable groups: In the communities of national minorities, general education can be organized in their mother tongue, with compulsory teaching of Armenian.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

School board: The 2009 Law on General Education, specifies that non-state educational institutions' founders can determine the institution's management organization, executive body, and director, specified in the institutional charter.

Reporting requirements: See Multi-level regulations.

School inspection: See Multi-level regulations.

Student assessment: According to the Law on General Education (2009), at the end of the elementary and basic secondary general education, all educational institutions must apply an examination to all their students to verify the level and compliance with the state general education requirements. Each educational institution may choose the method, frequency, and method for the student's examination.

Diplomas and degrees: According to the 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015),  non-state schools get the right to issue a state-issued graduation document from the moment of licensing; however, they must be in accordance with the form established by the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports (MESCS).

Sanctions: See Multi-level regulations.

In Armenia, most higher education institutions are public. Higher education is divided into universities, institutes, academies, and conservatories. There are three types of universities (63 in total): public (non-commercial and foundations) (22 universities), private (37 universities), and cross-border (4 intergovernmental agreements and 9 branches of foreign universities).

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: Upon authorization, institutional accreditation is mandatory for every non-state institution of higher education by the National Centre for Professional Education Quality Assurance Foundation (ANQA) or any other assurance agencies registered on the European Quality Assurance Register. The process involves three consecutive phases: a self-evaluation procedure to ensure compliance with the accreditation criteria and standards, an external review from an expert panel, and based on those findings, the ANQA Accreditation Commission will issue a decision granting or denying the accreditation status. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Licence: Once a license has been granted with due payment of the prescribed tax or state's certificate fee, the accredited institutions must be registered in the State Accreditation Registrar. All providers must pay an annual fee to the state in order to ensure the license validity. Accreditation is granted for four or six years or two years with Conditional Institutional Accreditations. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Financial operation

Profit-making: See Multi-level regulations.

Taxes and subsidies: According to the 2004  Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (as lastly amended in 2021), the state guarantees the right to free higher postgraduate education in state higher educational institutions, and in some cases on specific programs, accredited non-state higher education institutions can also compete for the reimbursement of the student’s tuition fee by the state. Cross-border institutions get a small amount of funding from the state budget for state-funded students. For more information, see Multi-level regulations.

Quality of teaching and learning

Curriculum and education standards: Universities may offer only the available programs on the list of Professionals and Qualifications approved by the government and must attain state approval before introducing a new degree program (Art.24). HEI must request government approval if a program they intend to offer is not on that list. Private Universities must follow educational standards and curriculum mandates by the government. However, they have the autonomy to determine their academic structure, teaching methodology, and research on the topic of interest. Cross-border institutions their curriculum are mandatory to include two subjects within its structure; “Armenian language” and “Armenian history.”

Teaching profession: Private and cross-border universities, have the freedom to determine the staff recruitment, the process for holding academic positions, and determine the form and system of salary rates.

Equitable access

Fee-setting: According to the the Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (2004 as lastly amended in 2021), the contract between the student and the academic institutions must include the total tuition fee for each academic level and are not subject to change during the entire study period. Furthermore, said law specifies for the estate to determine the maximum amount of tuition fee a HEIs can charge according to the educational degree.

Admission selection and processes: In conformity with the  Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (2004 as lastly amended in 2021), higher education institutions can organize their admission and selection process, including those for foreign citizens and stateless persons, according to their educational programs. The admission process concludes with a contract between the student and the institution, establishing the number of years of study and the total tuition fee for each academic level.

Quality assurance, monitoring and accountability

Board: Private universities have the autonomy to determine their governing bodies. The founder or Founders Councils are in charge of appointing the higher education institution Dean.

Reporting requirements: According to the 2004 Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (as amended in 2021) higher education institution is obliged to publish the quality assessment and accreditation criteria, the quality assessment of the educational institution or the accreditation organization, and the quality assessment process.

Inspection:  No information was found.

Assessment: No information was found.

Diplomas and degrees: According to the Law on Higher and Postgraduate Professional Education (2004 as lastly amended in 2021) the government sets the graduation requirements standards and is responsible for degree accreditation. While universities may grant certificates are not allowed to award degrees.

Sanctions: In violation of the license's mandatory requirements and conditions, the authorized public administration body may impose warnings or withdraw the HEI's license.

3.2 Multi-level regulations

This section covers regulations on the establishment, operation, and quality of non-state institutions from pre-primary to tertiary education level.

Entry/Establishment

Registration and approval: According to the  1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015), a non-state educational institution to operate in the Republic of Armenia, all institutions must apply for authorization at the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports. The 2000 Licensing of Educational Activities of the Republic of Armenia dictates that all applications must include a copy of the state registration certificate, the Institutional Charter, detailed pedagogical information ensuring compliance with the state's educational standards and the institution's teaching methodology. Additionally, every educational institution must submit information regarding its physical infrastructures such as classrooms, laboratories, and libraries, fulfill the construction norms on educational buildings requirements, and the number of students per classroom. A prescribed application fee must accompany all applications.

Licence: According to the 2000 Licensing of Educational Activities of the Republic of Armenia, licenses are issued indefinitely once the application for a non-state educational institution authorization is approved. All licenses are subject to compliance with licensing requirements. A non-state educational institution operating without a license is liable for conviction.

Financial operation

Profit-making: No information was found.

Taxes and subsidies: According to the Law on General Education (2009), education programs for elementary and secondary education enjoy tax privileges as defined by the law.

Quality of teaching and learning

Reporting requirements: All educational institutions regardless of their organization and/or legal status must comply with the state’ monitoring mechanisms. According to the Law on General Education (2009), every educational institution must conduct an internal-external assessment to verify institutional compliance with the educational standards and their activities effectiveness. The internal evaluation must be administered once a year and must include administrative personal, pedagogical staff, and parental participation.

Inspection:  The 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015), enacts that the Education Inspectorate is the entity responsible for supervising the educational institutions from preschool to secondary education. The Education Inspectorate oversees the compliance with the regulations, the educational standards, and educational programs of all educational institutions in Armenia. Once the license is granted, the licensing department can inspect the educational institution's compliance with the licensing requirements. The Education Inspectorate exercises the state control over educational institutions activities. As part of the internal-external assessment, an independent organization must perform the external evaluation.

Sanctions: According to the 1999 Law on Education (as amended in 2015), at the moment of its establishment and authorization, every non-state educational institution must include its charter procedures in case of its liquidation. A non-governmental educational institution can be dissolved or closed at the founder's initiative or state's request for non-compliance with laws or licensing requirements.
 

3.3 Supplementary private tutoring

According to the 2009 Law on General Education (art. 14), the participation of students in additional paid classes is voluntary; it is carried out based on a contract concluded between the educational institution and the parent, the model of which is approved by the authorized body of the state administration of education. Long-term education in educational institutions intends to provide support to the lessons and other learning skills. 

Entry/Establishment

No information was found. 

Financial operation and quality

No information was found. 

Teaching profession

No information was found.

Last modified:

Thu, 25/11/2021 - 14:57