No Room in Yerevan Public Kindergartens for Our Kids, Says Displaced Karabakh Mother
Mariam Abrahamyan's family moved from Stepanakert to Yerevan on September 25, six days after Azerbaijan launched a military offensive to regain control of Nagorno Karabakh.
Arriving in the Armenian capital, the family of seven (Mariam, her husband, Tigran Barseghyan, her husband's parents, Vardan and Karineh, and their three children) moved into a rental apartment.
Mrs. Abrahamyan says she hasn’t been able to enroll her two sons at local public kindergartens because there’s no vacancies. Private kindergartens charge a monthly average of 70,000 AMD, which the family can’t pay.
She called the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports and was told the issue was beyond their jurisdiction. The minstry referred her to the Yerevan Municipality. The municipality said state kindergartens were full and that no decision has been made to resolve the issue.
Mrs. Abrahamyan wrote about her dilemma on Facebook. Some private kindergartens have expressed their willingness to accept her sons for free for a certain period.
“This is an issue that requires a systematic approach and solution. The government should perhaps subsidize the private kindergartens so that they can accept children. When we came, we realized that we must work. We’re not saying that they should give us the place of the people who were in line before us, of course not, the state should try to find solutions," says Mrs. Abrahamyan.
The Yerevan Municipality’s press service told Hetq that it’s trying to solve the issue of placing forcibly displaced children from Artsakh in kindergartens, but they have not yet found options for a systemic solution.
Prior to the arrival of displaced Karabakh families in Armenia, 8,000 children were already waiting for spots in Yerevan public kindergartens. That number has since multiplied.
The municipality says twenty-four kindergartens are being refurbished this year and that the waiting list should decrease as a result..