Armenian News Network / Groong
January 10, 2011
By Ruth Bedevian
All over Armenia, many individuals and organizations are planting seeds which are taking root. Each time I visit, I learn more of what people are doing in their own little corners of the world to make life better. These seeds don't make big news, but the knowledge of the planting and the growing harvests are worthy to be shared. The Azkatroshm (Seal of the Nation/Rite of Passage) of the Khrimian Guhrtojakh (Educational Center) of Oshagan is one such story.OSHAGAN, ARMENIA
St. Mesrob Mashtoz Church in Oshagan.
© Ruth Bedevian
An azkasanoohie smiled broadly, saying, `I feel very happy today, and I look forward to more accomplishments in my future!'
Founded in the USA in 1987, the Khrimian Lyceum, is a 6 -year program for graduates of Armenian Saturday and/or Day Schools (elementary). The Khrimian Lyceum (known as the Khrimian Guhrtojakh in Armenia) is named after Catholicos Mgrdich Khrimian (1820-1907), the faithful leader who encompassed qualities of inspiring patriotism and who also favored educating women. It was created by Sylva Der Stepanian (Armenian Language Lab & Resource Center ALLARC - USA) and follows the same guidelines as in the USA where it has been enjoying success under the auspices of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church.
Bishop Mgrdich Proshyan with 13 graduates
(azkasanoohies) wearing their honor stoles
inside St. Mesrob Mashtoz Church in Oshagan.
© Ruth Bedevian
The day's program begins with a prayer and singing of Khrimian's anthem, then reading of an Armenian newspaper followed by discussion. The curriculum includes; moral principles, religion, literature including Bible readings, and learning of the Badarak. An Armenian leader is selected each year and his/her biography is studied. Other inclusions are; Hokihankisd services for participants' loved-ones, popular songs, art, dance, drama, computer skills, writing skills which include journalism techniques, celebrations of holidays, honoring teachers and end-of-year milestones.
Through the cooperation and encouragement of Roupen Mizakhanyan who is Rector of Yerevan's Khatchadour Apovian Pedagogical University, speakers are engaged to offer their expertise. One such speaker has been Ara Gevorkyan, famed musicologist both in Armenia and the Diaspora, who held a workshop, helping the youth to compose music. Other speakers- all experts in their field of knowledge -have included a woman lawyer from the ministry of justice, clergymen, doctors, historians, scientists, and choreographers These role models motivate the youth to strive to discover their own horizons.
Bishop Mgrdich Proshyan
© Ruth Bedevian
Internships and volunteer work in various organizations are also required, as well as end-of-the-year oral and written exams. Each year a new level is introduced and by 2012 the sixth and final level will be achieved. The grades bear names, rather than numbers, infusing Armenian images: Red, Blue, Orange, Ararat, Hayastan, Yerevan.
Nectar Sarkissian Munro, as treasurer of Khrimian Guhrtojakh of Oshagan, has also acted as coordinator of the educational center. Being a loyal supporter of the program from its inception, she has enjoyed active participation in its development to provide enlightened leadership for Armenian's future. Interested parties are encouraged to contact her for more details and information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Ruth Bedevian continues her visits in Armenia. Many of her articles are at: http://www.groong.org/orig/armeniahousemuseums.html
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