Amidst COVID-19 Armenia’s Public Schools Enjoy Uninterrupted Learning

Published on March 22, 2020

With a continued rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases, 113 countries have closed educational institutions impacting 849.4 million students (UNESCO). In the Republic of Armenia, (population: 3 million) however, public-school students’ learning remains uninterrupted, thanks to an EdTech platform called DASARAN.

With Armenia on emergency shutdown until April 14th, DASARAN’s newly launched distance learning feature allows public-school teachers to administer online lessons and quizzes.  The uploaded lessons are then accessible to students across Armenia.

Disrupting Public Education Ecosystem 

Some 70 percent of schools across the U.S. are closed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  Interim Guidance for Administrators of U.S. Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools encourages schools to continue collaborations, information sharing and review plans with local health officials to protect their school communities.

Such collaborations have already been part of the K-12 public education ecosystem in Armenia since DASARAN’s 2009 launch of its cloud-based education development system. DASARAN, which means “classroom” in Armenian, has over 1 million–1,214,409 to be exact­–registered users. These include public-school students, teachers, parents, recent school graduates, school administrators including regional and national education decision-makers.

Along with a team of 30, DASARAN’s Founding CEO Suren Aloyan is working around the clock to accommodate accessibility to the distant learning feature. “As we are adapting to the new normal in Armenia and across the world, DASARAN stays true to its mission of democratizing education for all children across Armenia, and the world. We are enabling uninterrupted learning through our new distance learning module.”

Suren Aloyan -DASARAN
Suren Aloyan is Founding CEO of DASARAN Ed-Tech Company based in Armenia.

The response from teachers has been overwhelmingly positive. Teachers are eager to post lessons and view an analytical summary of their students’ learning. They can assign homework or provide additional guidance. Home-bound students on the other hand, are not lagging on their education. With direct, online access to their teachers they can discuss lessons, homework assignments, or ask questions–as they would in person in a typical classroom.

Largest Internationally Recognized EdTech Platform in Armenia

As the largest online educational platform in Armenia, DASARAN has increased Armenia’s public-school academic performance by nearly 40 percent. It has decreased student absentee rates by 83 percent. It has increased teachers’ computer literacy levels to 81 percent across socio-economic sectors, including the rural regions. 

DASARAN was recognized among the world’s top 5 most innovative enterprises by the UNDP Accelerate 2030 Initiative. It also received the Best Startup Award at the Copenhagen Euroscience Open Forum.

The customizable E-Learning and gamified education platform also offers a wide knowledge base for K-12 grades. It enhances classroom learning, shaping behavioral patterns of students as modern-day world citizens. From environmental stewardship, to cultural knowledge, to STEAM subjects, the platform offers a range of gamified learning on fire safety, bullying, tolerance and more.

Education Capacity Building

Working with various partners, the platform can meet specific needs of a regional school system to improve student performance, teachers’ capacity and educational policymaking. DASARAN’s collaborations with various international organizations as EU, USAID, UNICEF, and Save the Children has included customized learning modules. Its “tolerance module” for Save the Children, Armenia helped K-12 students learn about tolerance and anti-discrimination behaviors as Armenia welcomed thousands of Syrian refugees whose children were integrated into the public schools.

The platform can scale quickly for a country, a region, or a group of learners as refugee camp children. With flexibility to build analogous success, the platform can enhance education for rural and lower-income communities, closing the divide along racial and class lines prevalent across the world. 

Leveling Data-Driven School Management and Decision-Making

In collaboration with a team of Harvard University experts, DASARAN created E-Stat–an unmatched diagnostic tool for data-driven decision-making. School administrators and ministries of education using E-Stat can incorporate filters, enact new correlations, and reduce time for state-level data collection and processing to mere seconds. Updated daily, the data incorporates inputs from teachers, school administrators and school staff for up-to-the-minute updates to the existing data infographics and analyses. 

E-Stat’s real-time statistical data and comparative analysis on school management efficiency, school enrollment, and student performance uses various indicators. It also allows for effective, data-driven educational policy making and monitoring to accurately measure education indicators across a country. E-Stat’s deployment increases school operations transparency. This helps decrease corruption risks and the prevalence of grade-modification practices in various parts of the world.

As DASARAN widens education and learning horizons for interactive learning, it reaffirms that educating a child takes a village–from students to teachers, parents, administrators to policymakers.

Jackie Abramian is a Columnist at Grit Daily. A multi-lingual social-media strategist with 20+ years experience, she has managed national and international campaigns for global tech companies, social enterprises, NGOs, and non-profits including public education campaigns for various federal government agencies. A contributor to Thrive Global, etal media, and HuffPost, she is the founder of Global Cadence consultancy and Artists at War multi-media platform of interviews with artists living in war zones. Based in Maine, she focuses her coverage on social entrepreneurship and travel.

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