News > Cypriot Armenians > Armenian Schools Committee formed after disagreement
The Armenian Nareg Schools in Cyprus are the only educational establishments that teach Armenian language in Cyprus after the closure of Melkonian Educational Institute in 2005.
Nareg schools are available in Nicosia, Larnaka and Limassol (see photo album below about Nareg Limassol).
At the end of the 5 year term of the current Armenian Schools Committee, the Armenian Representative in the Cypriot House of Representative Vartkes Mahdessian contacted individuals of experience in the field of education and brought together a balanced team to undertake the mission of resolving the existing problems. The team looked capable of bringing about the long-awaited changes in the educational system in the Nareg schools. Mahdessian recommended individuals from all factions of the society, a policy far from previous practices.
The names were given to the Ministry of Education in order to get the final approval from the Council of Ministers. Before the final approval, some behind the scenes activities was noticed and five names were replaced, without consulting with the Armenian Representative.
Mahdessian was displeased with this development. In a press release issued on 16 December 2009 he states that caring for Nareg Schools has been his main concern. "One of the major reasons that led to my decision to announce my candidature for the post of Armenian Representative in the House of Representatives was my great desire to be in a position to help the Nareg Armenian schools", he says.
"After the necessary meetings at the highest level with Government officials and endeavouring not to complicate matters any further but find a remedy for the situation created, I eventually agreed with the appointments of Rita Kasbarian, Arto Arakelian and Nayiri (Der Arakelian) Merheje at the expense of Vart Alteparmakian, Anita (Boyadjian) Kazandjian and Haig Der Nishanian from my original list", he explains.
The final list submitted to the Council of Ministers is now as follows: Vartan Tashdjian (Chairman), Sebouh Tavitian, Yeran Kouyoumdjian, Asadour Devletian, Raffi Mahdessian, Nayiri (Der Arakelian) Merheje, Haro Kassapian, Masis Der Partogh, Rita Kasbarian, Arto Arakelian, Avedis Chouldjian.
Mahdessian, in an apparently distressed tone ends his press release with the following comment: "Without any further explanation, I invite all members of our community to derive their own conclusions".
Gibrahayer's editor Simon Aynedjian posted an editorial in the recent issue of the electronic magazine, in which he accuses the community "old guard" in adopting "medieval practices" in the process of appointing the Schools Committee.
Aynedjian characterizes the intervention as "mob-like" and for the purpose of the "settlement of old scores". He remindes the readers that the Gibrahayer magazine has pointed out, as early as 2005, to the problems facing Nareg Schools. According to him very few of the educational issues touched in the magazine have been addressed in the proper way.
The accumulated problems has led to decrease of the number of the students attending the Nareg Schools, although the number of Armenians in Cyprus was maintened high in general.
Aynedjian concludes with the following comment:"The Armenian community of Cyprus cannot afford another blow to the only remaining educational fortress", in a reference to the sad story of the closure of Melkonian Educational Institute and the attempts for selling the Melkonian property.
"Gibrahayer e-magazine will be watching you", warns Aynedjian.
Nareg School in Limassol (one of three Nareg Schools in Cyprus):
See also our photo album: Cyprus Armenians (March 2005)