05, 2009

President Serzh Sargsyan met with the leaders of the Student Councils of the higher education institutions of Armenia

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Today, President Serzh Sargsyan met with the leaders of the Student Councils of the higher education institutions of Armenia.

Welcoming his young guests, the President of Armenia stressed the interest of the Armenian authorities in the establishment of potent Student Councils. According to Serzh Sargsyan, through the years of studies the student should not only progress in the world of science and knowledge but also should be reared as a citizen of the future. Highlighting among the existing problems those of imperfect mechanism for self-organization in our society and the lack of traditions of self-organization, Serzh Sargsyan noted that it was a very important area and was linked with the necessity of forming a new culture. The establishment of powerful Student Councils will become a factor which will enhance the self-organization of the society. The Councils are probably the first instance where the students learn to unite around a common goal, self-organize, adopt joint decisions, and fight for their interests. This is a special culture the enrooting of which can be beneficial for the developed coordination of the societal forces in different areas. According to the President, “if there are strong Student Councils it means that tomorrow there will be strong condominiums, strong professional unions, and – why not – also strong political parties.”

Recalling the famous saying that “Tomorrow belongs to the youth”, the President of Armenia said, “We don’t want people to assume by this saying that “the present doesn’t belong to the youth”. Of course, experience counts, and an intelligent person will not reject the experience. However, at the same time we should understand and take into consideration the fact that the experience can be both positive and negative. An experienced official is undoubtedly very useful and very good citizen of our country. Unfortunately, experienced officials are very often experienced also in abusing their position. Thus, the right way is to successfully associate experience with the ardor of the youth. We are ready to do it, but we must also see young people who are ready to do it.”

Mentioning chess playing as an example, Serzh Sargsyan said, “Up until recently tendencies in chess playing were set by mature, experienced grandmasters. Today, however, the young players have assumed the role of leaders. Currently, eight, nine, ten year old children are challenging experienced grandmasters, leaders in world tournaments are mostly young people and it testifies to the fact that today the world needs new ideas and unorthodox decisions. It means that the possibilities for the young people are endless. In our country too, they have an unlimited area for action. We need young initiating state officials, we need young initiating state builders, and we need young initiating scientists. You should solve this problem. Preceding generations have successfully fulfilled their historical mission. Thanks to your grandparents, Armenia has become a country of universal literacy, and education and educated people are held in high esteem in Armenia. Your fathers, mothers, and sisters were able to build, create a free and independent Armenia, now you must continue their work, but it will be impossible to do it without knowledge and active social stance.”

Noting that the youth has many tasks, President Sargsyan spoke about some of them.

“First, the youth must constantly work toward the strengthening of our independence. Without actively engaged youth, we cannot have strong statehood, and without strong statehood our country cannot move forward.

Second, young people must create and implement new knowledge. In any area – from the Armenian studies to the precise sciences – we have a great need for young scientists.

Third, our young people must be free citizens of a free country. If a person doesn’t feel free, he or she is unable to accomplish much, and there is no doubt that our country needs great accomplishments.”

Following the Presidents address, there took place an involved discussion and exchange on the issues which interested the students. In particular, discussed were issues pertaining to the reformation of the education system, correlation between state-sponsored education quotas and labor market, social issues, postgraduate and workforce reproduction, and military-patriotic education of the youth. At the students’ request, the President of Armenia spoke also about the pressing foreign policy issues.

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