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FAF AND AGBU ANNOUNCE THE LAUNCH OF NUR PLAN IN NKR

Fruitful Armenian Fund and Armenian General Benevolent Union proudly announce the launch of NUR Plan in the Nagorno Karabagh Republic (NKR). Press conferences on this occasion were organized in Stepanakert on August 15 and Yerevan on August 16. Following the agreement signed last January between NKR Prime Minister Ara Harutyunyan and Mr. Eduardo Eurnekian, FAF is presenting today the general concept of NUR, a plan aimed at changing the future of the educational system. NUR will be implemented with the cooperation of AGBU, the world’s biggest non-profit Armenian organization, which will be providing on-the-ground support to ensure the success of the project. NUR has been conceived following the concept of One Laptop Per Child (OLPC). OLPC is an educational program developed at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. OLPC has successfully married constructivism (learning by doing) with the creation of an affordable state-of-the-art laptop computer, the XO, specifically designed and conceived for educational purposes. NUR will be providing XO laptop computers to school students from first to fourth grade, and their respective teachers. The government of NKR has agreed to provide the internet connection at the schools, which is one of the key aspects of the Plan. In a first stage, in September 2011, 160 teachers from schools in the cities of Stepanakert and Shoushi will start the training which will consist of a 3 week intensive course on SUGAR, the educational Software of the XO. They will also attend a 6 week virtual course to incorporate further updates on the different programs to be used with the students. The following stage will consist of the deployment of NUR Plan laptops to 3.600 children, promoting equal opportunities and integrating technology in everyday school classes. The schedule will be agreed with the government of NKR.

The government will also ensure that the rest of the cities and villages of NKR will soon follow with internet high-speed connectivity, an essential component for NUR Plan. Once this is implemented NUR Plan will deploy more new XO laptop computers for the connected schools so as to reach to cover all the elementary students.

“NUR is close to AGBU’s mission. The Union is interested in educational projects. Collaboration within the framework of NUR is favorable for all parties. With this we are developing one of the most valuable potentials of the Armenian nation – the human being”, said Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Central Board member. “This is a new way of learning. We learned with books, they will learn with computers. They only need to have it, the rest they will do on their own”, said Ana Cristina Schirinian, Executive Director of Fruitful Armenia Fund.

XO is not a regular computer. It is designed especially for children. It’s not broken when dropped, it’s water proof, it’s batteries are durable and are charged with solar energy, information cannot be lost and the keyboard is in Armenian. NUR Plan introduces a revolutionary change to the educational system which main objectives are:

• To enhance the educational experience by introducing technology to the classroom, the school and the family

• To promote equal opportunities for all students by providing a laptop per child and per teacher

• To guarantee access to information and worldwide education and culture

• To develop a collaborative culture in 4 lines: child-child, child-teacher, teacher-teacher and child-family

• To contribute to the promotion of Nagorno Karabakh Republic’s culture in the region and in the world.

NUR Plan is a capital investment for future generations. Mr. Eurnekian has highlighted the commitment of the world community to ensure that all children in the world have access to education and information. And in relation to this, all Armenians spread in the world should contribute, either individually or in organizations, to the cause of educating future generations in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

 

 

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