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Vardenis Students Boycott Classes to Protest Unsafe Conditions of School Building

Students of the school of the village of Vardenis in Armenia's Aragatsotn province boycotted classes yesterday, September 27, refusing to attend classes at a 4th degree emergency building, Hetq.am reported, adding that the construction of the new school building, the foundation of which was laid back in 2012, has yet to be completed.

Local administration representatives, who had come to the school yard to convince the protesting students to resume classes, assured that the new building, which is being constructed by lawmaker Aragats Akhoyan's “White Arch” company, would be ready by October 10.

Mamikon Abgaryan, the head of education at the Aragatsotn regional administration, announced that the students would derive no benefit from the boycott, to which the children countered that they were “losing their health” by attending classes at a semi-wrecked building. 

The boycotting students showed Hetq.am reporters around the school, pointing to huge holes in the classroom floors and saying that students fall into these holes on a daily basis. “Our classmate Mushegh fell into this hole once and shattered his back as a result,” one of the kids added.


According to PE teacher Vardan Yeghiazaryan, for years it has been impossible to even heat the classrooms. "We usually run out of petroleum by the fifth period; how can we force the kids to sit in the cold while you're sitting in the warmth of your office,” the teacher said, addressing the school's headmaster.

Ashot Davayan, the head of the regional administration's urban development department, nevertheless urged the teachers to resume classes until construction at the new school was finished. “Let's respect the superior's word. Kids are like plasticine: you can mold a drop of water out of them, or a sword.”

The students, however, intend to continue their boycott until the construction of the new school is completed.