On 3rd of November, another discussion has been held at the office of the Institute of Public Policy (IPP). The speaker has been Anna Gevorgyan who has presented her essay about she has written during the years of her study in Great Britain. The topic has been the values behind the philosophy of the Armenian public education. The speaker has presented two theories regarding the value system in the education and then has presented the legal documents that have been analyzed to find out the value system of our educational system.
The first theory has been suggested by Sen, the capability approach which distinguishes the capabilities – the various things a person may value doing or being and the functioning of human beings- the freedom to achieve various capabilities. Another theory that has been discussed before the main discussion has been Martha Nussbautheory of the human development approach which distinguishes between internal capabilities that are the people’s skills and personality traits and the political, social and economic conditions that might influence on the internal capabilities one has.
The basic difference is that Nussbaum’s approach lists a priori list of capabilities based on the Aristotelian view of “Human flourishing” meanwhile Sen has a more flexible approach which defines list of capabilities that might be settled in a democratic process.
Next the speaker has presented her analysis of value system that has been found from the textbook analysis and the scrutiny of the legal documents. The basic values that has been ubiquitously existent in the above mentioned materials had been presented in the order of the stages of the school – elementary, secondary and high school. In the elementary stage the children are nourished with the national values such as national identity, national belonging and the universal values such as being an active citizen and ability to perceive oneself as part of society. In the secondary stage the children have been taught to have and to show respect, self education and self-dignity. Moreover, the pupils have started to form the first impressions about the democracy and tolerance at this stage. In the high school the values that have been previously taught, are becoming mainstream, but additionally a stronger emphasis is being put on the national family values.
After an interesting presentation the participants have started to discuss a topic that that been reason to several interruptions during the presentation. The term universal values has been the reason of the debate. The participants have had different views on what the universal rights are.Some of the people have pointed out that the European values are been spread all over the world and it is hard to say if there are universal values.