On February 20, RA Minister of Education and Science Levon Mkrtchyan addressed the expected investment projects in the education and science sector within the framework of the Government assignment. In particular, he mentioned that the sectorial investment picture is successful.
“The projects that suppose continuity will naturally be continued in 2017, ensuring maintenance of the investment environment in the field”, the minister stated. In his speech, he also made a reference to several important projects among which he underlined “Education Improvement” loan program as the one having the largest financial scale.
Nevertheless, on February 19, it had become clear that the aforementioned program may be left unfinished since the pre-approved budget may not suffice. Hetq media outlet published an investigation article on the matter on the night of February 20.
18 million USD out of the total of 37.5 million USD budget was envisaged for the capital repairs of high schools in Armenia. However, so far repair works have started in 5 schools and have not been completed yet. There are no signs of starting the works in the other 12 schools.
Moreover, the possible issues related to the “Education Improvement” loan program could be discerned from the 2016 summary report of the RA Ministry of Education and Science. According to the report, the new estimates show that the amount of funds needed for the rehabilitation of the other 12 high schools makes up 30.77 million USD. The new estimate has exceeded the program’s procurement plan by 19.17 million USD, as reported by the Ministry and cited by Hetq.
Hence, a question arises on how the “Education Improvement” program will continue and why the Education Minister is silent about the huge miscalculation and failure of such an important program.