Rural school in the Armenian mountains
I visited Agwani at the end of October last year. There’s a divinely beautiful nature out there. The air is fragrant and sweet – almost drinkable, as well as pure water from cold mountain springs. A giant eagle floats calmly over the blue hills.
I went to Agwani to visit a local school with two students: 10-year-old Arsak Armanyan and his younger sister Gohar. In the schoolyard, firewood was collected a week in advance. The school’s head teacher was stabbing wood, and Arkaik Vardazaran, the school’s principal, helped to put them together.
He also lit two metal stoves in the classroom and another one in the teacher’s lounge; otherwise, the shell of a building without central heating will freeze so cold that you can’t even sit an hour, let alone a school day!
In the teachers’ lounge, they were debating if the school would keep the individual librarian’s rate for the next year and would be able to buy the volleyball net, balls and sports mats?
The school is poor because it is a very small, impoverished mountain village in the Kapan district, with a population of only 25 people. The school cannot even provide a human toilet for schoolchildren and teachers.
The school also lacks water supply and a primitive hand washer at the entrance to the school serves as a crude example of Armenian authenticity from the previous century.
Here is a video of my trip to Agwani by Armenian colleagues from the regional television channel Z TV