Drakhtik’s old kindergarten, built in the Soviet era, was converted to a military post during the Artsakh War. No longer fit for use as an educational establishment, the building now serves as a community-administration center. Drakhtik’s close to 20 preschoolers currently attend classes in a single classroom temporarily made available at the community’s main school, which is not equipped to meet anything beyond the core educational needs of the nursery students. As for the community’s more than 15 kindergarten-age children, there is simply no kindergarten which they can attend.
The situation will be reversed in time for the new academic year in September 2011, when construction of the new kindergarten, begun in August of last year, is slated to be completed. Currently crews are building the second floor of the future campus, which is designed to accommodate up to 50 students. The building will have naprooms and playrooms for nursery and kindergarten students as well as a gym and a music room. Equipped with the latest in air-conditioning, central-heating, and fire-safety systems, the campus will feature a complement of modern amenities including a kitchen, a cafeteria, a medical clinic, a laundry, and a sizeable playground.
“I am confident that the ongoing improvement of the community’s living conditions will not only stem the tide of migration, but foster prosperity,” says Ara Vardanyan, executive director of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund.
“The kindergarten project is yet another effort by the fund to significantly enhance our community’s quality of life,” states Norayr Davtyan, mayor of Drakhtik. “Thanks to the fund, the village now has regular drinking-water service while farming has been considerably boosted, through modern machinery donated to villagers.”
During a recent visit to Drakhtik, we spoke to a young mother who said she was overjoyed by the long-awaited prospect of having a new kindergarten in the community. “Life is hard in these parts, with villagers spending most of the day working in the fields,” she explained. “The new kindergarten will be a great relief, as we’ll know that our kids are being schooled in a safe, nurturing environment.”
“Our children deserve to receive a level of education that in every way is comparable to what we see in France and other European countries,” says Bedros Terzian, chairman of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund’s French affiliate. “That’s why, for over ten years now, the French-Armenian community has spared no effort to help build, renovate, and furnish schools and kindergartens throughout Armenia and Artsakh.”