“Recognition of prior learning is very new in Armenia. The formal education sector do not show any trust in non-formal-education,” Aram Aragyan told the conference, thus pin-pointing one of the central problems of a national qualifications framework.
Europe is much more than the countries of EU. As a demonstration of that fact Aram Avagyan presented the Armenian experience with national qualifications framework in a presentation. Aram Avagyan is the director of Global Developments Fund, an Armenian organization working with adult education and lifelong learning. As such he was also the host of the latest general assembly of the EAEA.
“The process of establishing a national qualifications framework is getting started. Through a process of projects and EU technical assistance drafts are now ready for a concept document, some law amendments and a government decree,” Aram Avagyan told the conference.
The objectives of the Armenian framework are similar to the frameworks of other European countries:
• To link different levels af qualification in a hierarchy from the lowest to the highest
• To link Armenian qualifications to those of other countries
• To enable learners to access qualification, transfer between qualifications and progress from one level to the next level
“This can only be accomplished in a spirit of trust, mobility and lifelong learning. And trust is one of the problems,” Aram Avagyan said.
“It is also a very complicated process,” he said.
“Now we have several different classifications, but we must move to one common system. We have to change all the old classifications that people know. All standards must be revised,” Aram Avagyan explained.
“But this meets opposition, for example from higher education. They are ashamed of being part of the same system as vocational training,” he added.
Why don’t they trust us?
On the screen Aram Avagyan showed a complicated chart with the components of the Armenian NQF. Both non-formal provision and recognition of prior learning was included.
“But recognition of prior learning is very new in Armenia, and the formal education sector has no trust in the results. Why don’t they trust non-formal education,” he asked rhetorically.
“The government and civil society is beginning realize that this is not going to be an easy process. A lot of human resources will be needed.
But enthusiasm will help us, I hope,” Aram Avagyan concluded on an optimistic note.