Phase 2 of the NUR (New Educational Strategy) program kicked off in the schools of Stepanakert and Shoushi on February 6th. 1-4th graders will be getting acquainted with the capacities and mechanisms of the XO computers designed specifically for educational purposes. Initially only 100 computers were distributed to start off training classes in three schools. Eventually, the process included all schools in Stepanakert and Shoushi. AGBU Armenian Representation’s NKR projects coordinator Sassoun Baghdassarian said on the occasion, “The duration of the int-roduction process depends on the number of children in the given school. The introductory classes in all the schools in Stepanakert and Shoushi will finish by the end of February”. Schoolchildren will receive their XOs by the end of March. To make the distribution process run more smoothly and finish it in a week’s period, lists of all the children, along with their personal data, are currently being developed. Another important part of NUR is internet accessibility at schools, which is why currently all the schools included in the NUR project are being connected to the internet. “According to our preliminary agreement the internet is being provided by the NKR government. The WiFi devices will be provided by the organizers of NUR. This issue will be solved by mid-March”, said Sassoun Baghdassarian. He also added that the children will receive their computers even if the installation of internet connection at schools is delayed due to technical reasons. The school of Qarin Tak, included in the NUR project, will also receive computers, despite certain difficulties. Raya Baghdassarian, a teacher of Stepanakert school #10, said during our conversation, “Since most of the children are familiar with computers, the introduction to XO is going very smoothly, and I am sure very soon these children will be much more advanced in using the XO computers than we, the teachers”. The first phase of NUR took place in autumn 2011, during which about 160 teachers of 1-4th classes underwent first practical and then 6-week online training courses mastering the educational software of XO called SUGAR. NUR was launched in January 2011 with the joint efforts of “Fruitful Armenia” and AGBU and the assistance of the NKR government. The main goal of the program is to provide the schools with computers and internet. As part of NUR about 3600 schoolchildren in Artsakh will receive XO computers.

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