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Kristine Aghalaryan

Pyunik Parents Continue School Boycott; Send Petitions to Top Officials

Parents in the Kotayk village of Pyunik continue to keep their children from attending school, to protest an August 24 government decision that will close the school in two months and have the pupils attend classes in the neighboring village of Artavaz.

Pyunik residents say that closing the village school is synonymous with closing the village.

The school boycott began on September 1, the first day of the fall semester, and calls by the school principal and government officials to end it have fallen on deaf ears.

Residents have written to Armenia’s president, prime minister and the education minister, asking them to void the controversial decision.

Residents question the government’s finding that education quality levels would rise if the 44 pupils at the Pyunik school were to attend classes at the neighboring Artavaz school with 70 pupils.

In their letters to the officials, residents write that last year three of the four graduates were accepted to various colleges and universities.

Residents are fearful that the closing of the school will result in people leaving Pyunik. They also point out that children will have to travel three kilometers to the school in Artavaz, often on foot, due to the lack of reliable transportation. They say the trek would be difficult during the harsh winters.