I will not let you be indifferent – 5

I haven’t been to Davos, but we have come to an agreement with Vigen Avetis from Florence: our Schooling Center in Arates can become an educational Davos.… I haven’t met and don’t know in person the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma, but I wanted his idea about education, expressed in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos 2018, to be published in my diary note.

Education is a big challenge now. If we do not change the way we teach 30 years later will be big trouble because the way we teach, the things we teach our kids, are the things from the past 200 years – knowledge based. And we cannot teach our kids to compete with machines – they are smarter. We have to teach something unique so that the machine can never catch up with us. In this way thirty years later our kids’ll have the chance!… The key things valued are: believing, independent thinking, teamwork, care for others. These are the soft part. The knowledge may not teach you that. That’s why I think we should teach our kids sports, entertaining arts, music, painting art to make sure humans are different. Everything we teach should be different from machines. If the machine can do better you have to think about.

Alibaba hasn’t been to our Educational Complex either. Translate this diary note to send it as an invitation… Welcome to Yerevan, Ma Yun. Welcome to “Mkhitar Sebastatsi” Educational Complex, to Bleyan’s School. Thank you for presenting and appreciating the credo of our author pedagogy from that high tribune. Our life, everything we have created, the fact of our existence, the everyday presentation of our “soft” through our open doors is not, was not and will not be valued as much by our state officials. Dear Alibaba, come on, help us to expand our Educational complex – educational garden – our world throughout Armenia as a network. The newly elected mayor of our city like the former one, our wealthiest businessman Samvel Alexanyan as well as Ruben Vardanyan are inaccessible, self-contained. The new mayor is busy with his new high position, and Ruben Vardanyan is busy with another international educational program. Our “soft” is something different. Our pedagogy is presented in the pedagogical electronic Magazine Dpir, in the educational blogs of our staff, in my diary with its already the 1583rd entry. The speech made in Davos by the owner of Alibaba, a billionaire, proved to be accessible for our Petros Ghazaryan, the head of the News Show of Armenian Public TV. On the other hand, the news about our pedagogical activities is so inaccessible and even worthy of rejecting.  Here is a fresh example, a true story.     

Last Saturday I led a group of teachers and students of “Mkhitar Sebastatsi” Educomplex to Armavir and Aragatsotn regions of Armenia on our day off, at our own expenses. We went from village to village, from school to school sharing our sharing our author pedagogy of the 21st century life school. We were doing in reality what Jack Ma was speaking about education in his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos: learning, sharing and expecting the others to be better. What the leader of Alibaba once said in Davos was accessible for our journalists but our everyday endeavors in our country are not. We have been working and living in this way for already so many years. We and our cause, our pedagogy with its “soft”. It may also be an alternative to Davos: our political revolution is now turning into an economic one, and from which we will have a soft passing to spiritual-educational. It may be considered to be a directive from the Ministry of Education and Science having not been included in the Government Program for 2019.        

A 5th grader of our Eastern School, Avag Arakelyan, who became our student on January 19, has published an entry on his blog: in the evening I thought to myself again. I realized that there was also a revolution in my life on January 19. Today I can confidently say that I have made the most important step, I have chosen a friendly environment for me, a warm and warm atmosphere where I love everyone and everyone loves me.

Thank you for your warmth … Every day you give me new strength and energy and new wings to fly high. Avag Arakelyan

Yes, education is such a challenge, dear Petros but it is not tough enough to justify the carelessness about the “Creator’s Mobile School” which has been conducted by the teachers in the suburbs of Yerevan for the period of 30 years. Education is a challenge but this challenge greets us and establishes close human relationships. The pain, which bothered Hovhannes Tumanyan one hundred years ago, is also my pain.     

We have a country we don’t know, we have a history we don’t know, we have people we don’t know, we have literature we don’t know, we have language we don’t know. We think: what a big shortcoming! That we don’t know our country is simply a geographical ignorance. We do not understand how much we do not know by not knowing that. It is the country with its peculiarities that determines and explains history, literature, arts, economic state, the known human type and spirit, isn’t it? It determines the fates of nations. Without understanding its character you can neither comprehend your past nor perceive your present or manage the future.

This geographical ignorance is the real challenge:…The well-known sculptor Massimo Lippi was speaking about this challenge and sharing with us in his peculiar letter. This speech of Jack Ma’s can be considered the second.     

Translator: Yura Ganjalyan

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