Yezidi language is not taught at all schools for Yezidi communities in Talin region of Aragatsotn marz. Though the RA Legislation ensures the education right of national minorities (also in their mother tongue), there are children in Yezidi communities who can’t read and write in Yezidi language. The main reason is the absence of specialists.
The issue was revealed by the office of Talin Area Development Programs of World Vision - Armenia and by “Talin-Hope” NGO, “Civil Society Institute” and Helsinki Committee in Armenia, within the frameworks of “Grassroots Voices for Human Rights Mobilization in Armenia” program.
From May to September, 2011, a monitoring was held in 8 villages of Talin region (Ddmasar, Sorik, Hako, Kanch, Arevut, Otevan, Metsadzor, Tlik) within the frameworks of “The Right of Education in Yezidi Communities” program. All these are Yezidi homogeneous villages where primary schools are operating. The total number of the students of eight schools is 111.
“The teaching of Yezidi language is carried out only in 7 communities. The students from Ddmashar community cannot read and write in their mother tongue because it is already eight years the Yezidi language has not been taught because of not having a specialist. Yezidi language has not been taught in Hako community for three years as the teacher has left to Russia” says the President of “Talin-Hope” NGO Anahit Abgaryan.
According to the results of monitoring the teachers of Yezidi language are mostly people who live in that community and have at least high school education. Only in two communities there are teachers of Yezidi language with university education who also teach other subjects.
Khatun Harutyunyan, headmistress of primary school of Arevut, said that after the death of the Yezidi language teacher they have no specialist. “ There is no one even with high school education who knows Yezidi language well and can teach” says the Headmistress.
As a temporary solution to the problem 22-year-old man teaches Yezidi language at school. “We have chosen a graduate student from our school who studied well at school. He teaches in groups for 6 hours per week and receives AMD 20.000 salary. But it is also doubtful because the school is financed by the number of the students (we have 17 students and a little funding) and maybe there comes a time when we cannot provide it”- expresses her concern Khatun Harutyunyan. She is not pleased with the quality of teaching Yezidi language because the teacher has no professional skills and cannot plan the lesson properly.
According to the Head of “Talin-Hope” NGO the headmasters and teachers are not satisfied with the content of Yezidi language textbooks and they think they are not interesting for students. During the inquiry rare students mentioned that they liked the subject of Yezidi language.
According to the estimation of the monitoring the level of education is rather low in all Yezidi communities of Talin region. In parents’ opinion the reason is non-sufficient conditions of the school. And the teachers claim that Yezidis do not pay importance to education and the parents are not consistent in their children’s learning.
The inquiries made in frames of monitoring also confirm this. To the question “Will you continue your education in future?” nobody could answer surely “yes”. Though the parents noted that they paid importance to school and education, to the question “Will your children continue their education?” they mainly answered “no”.
Anahit Abgaryan explains the low interest in education with the national peculiarities of Yezidis. Boys are engaged in cattle-breeding from a very young age, thus helping their parents. And the girls marry in a young age and becoming housewives.
There is an essential argumentation of one of the parents concerning the ongoing education. “If our children are to suffer and so are we , there is no sense to continue studying, as they will have to raise the cattle in the end, because there is nothing else to do”.