By proposing amendments to the Conscription law, the Ministry of Education and Science has one goal – to send abroad the students whose primary aim is to study,” Tigran Sahakyan, head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora at the Ministry of Education and Science, told at a discussion hosted by the Media Center. The event was dedicated to the reform in the Conscription law and aimed to reveal whether it was restricting the rights for education or deferment. The discussion was initiated by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting Armenia Office.
On January 23, the Armenian government approved the draft law on the amendments to the Conscription law proposed by the Ministry of Education and Science.
The law will require the PhD and Master's degree students who travel abroad to study on state order, interstate and interdepartmental agreements to pay 8.5 million drams (about 21,000 US dollars) as security that they will return.
“The education has to be legal, discrimination should be abolished. The changes to the Conscription law have made the right to education more discriminative,” said Ashot Bleyan, one of the guest speakers of the discussion event and director of Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex. He insisted that the reform maintained the governmental scheme in education sector.
Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, associated professor and doctor of Historical Sciences, pointed out the money required from students who wanted to study abroad was unreasonable.
“The most important thing is the aim of changing the law, which is not quite clear. The students who stay abroad and enter PhD and Master's programmes often help Armenia more than those who become useless as professionals once they come back,” he said.
Tigran Sahakyan said the reform implied compiling a clear list of the universities and professions that would allow students to enjoy their right to deferment.
“We have to distinguish between the right to education and liability towards the state. If you choose a scholarship programme offered by the state, then you ought to reckon with its rules,” he said.
The legislative package proposing changes to the Conscription law will soon be discussed at the Parliament.
On February 12, a discussion entitled “Amendments to the Conscription Law: Restriction of Deferment or Educational Right?” was held at the Media Center.Tigran Sahakyan, head of Department of Foreign Affairs and Diaspora at Ministry of Education and Science, Ashot Bleyan, director of Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex and Hovhannes Hovhannisyan, associated professor and doctor of Historical Sciences, were the guest speakers of the discussion event.