Armenia establishes school for Syria kids
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
In order to prevent problems stemming from the differences between the two dialects of Armenian, books for the school books were purchased from Syria.The Cilician School, which provides education in the western Armenian dialect, has been established in Yerevan to serve school-age children whose families have migrated to Armenia from Syria due to the increasing tension and conflict there.
Syrian Armenian children had been facing problems with education in Armenian schools due to differences between the eastern and western dialects of the Armenian language. Eastern Armenian is spoken in Armenia and Iran, while western Armenian developed in Istanbul during the 19th century and is currently spoken by the Armenian Diaspora.
The school was established with contributions from and thanks to collaboration between the Cilicia Benevolent Foundation, Armenia’s Diaspora Ministry, the Armenian National Education Ministry and Yerevan Municipality, the school’s principal, Nora Pilibosyan, told Hürriyet Daily News in a telephone interview, adding that the school currently plans to provide education only for one year. “We hope the problems in Syria will end soon and the Syrian families will be able to return to their homeland,” Pilibosyan said.
“Our goal is to prevent these children from being deprived of education. It is too early to talk about the future, we will wait and see,” Pilibosyan said, when asked if the school could remain open longer in the event the situation in Syria does not improve within one year.
In order to prevent problems stemming from the differences between the western and eastern dialects of Armenian, books for the school books were purchased from Armenian schools in Syria, Pilibosyan said, adding that 250 children are currently attending the school.
4,000 Syrian Armenians currently in Armenia
After meeting with a group of 30 immigrants from Syria in late September, Diaspora Minister Hranush Hagopyan officially announced to the Armenian press that 4,000 Syrian Armenians had migrated to Armenia.
Armenia was caught off guard by the migration of Syrian Armenians, and Armenian citizens have opened their houses to the immigrants and helped them with private means. Some of the Syrian Armenians who have fled to Armenia have later headed to other countries where they have family, while some have settled in Armenia. A considerable number of them plan to return to Syria soon after the clashes there end.