Armenian Visitors Discuss Educational Reform with IB Students

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Jenny Zhang ‘19 explains her point.

  • IB students take notes and listen.

  • Armenian delegates listen to what the students are saying.

  • Students attend the discussion with delegates for educational reform in Armenia.

  • Two delegates hear the responses to their questions.

  • Kate Lee ‘19 explains the importance of IB.

  • A delegate introduces himself.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right

On Nov. 29, International Baccalaureate (IB) students gathered in the Great Room to attend a panel about education in other countries. Delegates in the panel were advocates for educational reform in Armenia. These individuals came to the U.S. under the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program to learn about the American educational system. Their visit benefited both the delegates and the American students, who had the opportunity to learn more about a different culture.

“The education we get as part of the IB community is very holistic and worldly,” Radhika Rajalal ‘19 said. “It focuses on a lot more and this just broadens the perspective because [we shouldn’t] just focus on one specific country. So seeing representatives from a country like Armenia that gets skipped over — this is a huge way of influencing the way we see other countries.”

The panel started with the delegates briefly discussing why they were here and introducing themselves. In Armenia, high school doesn’t exist — the school system is composed of just primary and secondary school. They are trying to make their country a part of the global education system by observing schools in other countries like the US and seeing the benefits and drawbacks to different programs.

“We are here to learn the best practices of the U.S. education system,” delegate Ms. Biayna Amirjanyan said. “[We want] to use this experience to make improvements in Armenia. The students are the future of the country. If you want to have a really good country, a prosperous country, a strong country, you need to educate your nation. This is our main proposal.”

After taking a few questions from students, the representatives began asking students about their educational lives as part of the IB program. The questions ranged from asking about the workload and necessity of out-of-school tutors to broader topics such as why we need education as human beings. Many students took notes and gave answers. The event was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about a country not usually mentioned in classes.

“One thing that I thought was interesting was seeing the sort of questions they asked,” Bailey Barlow ‘19 said. “One of the most important things we can do as people is to gain perspective from different people we might not encounter in our day-to-day lives and learn about different ways to see the world.”