Students of the Yerevan State University are staging a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport, demanding the resignation of the Minister, Arayik Harutyunyan.
They are urging students from other universities and educational institutions to join their protest which comes on the heels of a proposed draft law that would see the removal of the compulsory courses of Armenian language, Armenian literature and Armenian history from university curricula.
The demonstrators cited the police cordon between themselves and the Ministry building as a proof of a “water divide that separates the Minister from education, students and schools.”
The Ministry said recently that it is going to draft a proposal that would make the three courses optional, particularly for students who do not major in humanities.
But when the students of YSU’s Faculty of Armenian Philology took to the streets to protest against the proposed change, the Ministry issued a statement, according to which the draft law grants wide autonomy to universities to determine the content of educational and scientific programs.
“Therefore, once the draft law is approved, the scientific council of each university can decide whether these subjects must or must not be taught in all faculties,” the statement reads.
Most faculties in Armenian universities require students to pass an Armenian language exam in order to be enrolled.