Family & School: The Best Way of Blending and Building Armenian Education 10/04/2015
The best way of building Armenian education begins with family. It’s important for the older generation to take responsibility in providing the younger generation with Armenian traditions, culture, faith and language. Father Abraham Hakobian from North Carolina, USA, joined the Armenian Virtual College community in the Fall Term of 2014. His keen interest in the AVC program and his active participation in the AVC Eastern Armenian Language and History courses, finally led to the foundation of a family-based hybrid school, of which his four children were the first students to enroll. Father Abraham’s family have served the Lord and Christ for generations; however, with the world becoming more secular, Hakobian’s kinsfolk began to face the hazardous reality of losing their ties with family, religion and culture. Father Abraham recalls, “Over the years there have been discussions to try and provide a path that our children and future generations could prosper from, a path that would provide the means for all of us to be together and work together, to hold together our culture, history, tradition, language and most of all, our faith”. AVC’s hybrid learning method turned out to be the path that could help those who wished to form an Armenian Hybrid School in the mountains of North Carolina. Father Abraham’s four children, Ruth Christina Hakobian, Jacob John Hakobian, Aravak John Hakobian and Malek Christina Hakobian, are currently enrolled in AVC’s Eastern Armenian Beginner course in English at Arkayoutyun Armenian School (Արքայություն Հայկական Դպրոց), established through AVC’s hybrid program model. In October 2015, the students of Arkayoutyun Armenian School began orientation week through Armenian Virtual College. The AVC team connected with the class through a conference call to welcome the students to AVC’s big family - thus, the start of e-learning was set. Father Abraham, having already studied the AVC courses in advance, used his former teaching experience to serve as the local onsite instructor for AVC courses at the Arkayoutyun School. The head of the family and the school is confident in the school’s prosperous future: “There are many in my family who are interested in taking these courses. I have heard that there are some Armenian communities inquiring and some are beginning to reach out to me. If this continues to happen I would be more than happy to help them. Let it succeed for the Glory of the Lord and the Son and the Holy Spirit, always.” Through the Arkayoutyun Armenian School, Father Abraham has found the best solution of preserving Armenian identity in the remote mountains of North Carolina –once more speaking to the need of Armenian education in the Armenian Diaspora.