Angry parents in a village in western Armenia briefly blocked a road passing through their community on Monday morning in protest against what they described as the lack of elementary conditions at a local school attended by their children.
Scores of protesters in Jrarbi, a village situated some 30 kilometers to the west of capital Yerevan, demanded a meeting with Armavir Governor Ashot Ghahramanian to discuss the matter.
The demonstrators complained that the school attended by more than 260 students lacks a proper heating system and badly needs repairing. In particular, they said that the windows of the school building are broken, the walls have large cracks and there are no functioning toilets. According to the parents, in cold classrooms heated with kerosene burners children quickly get cold and frequently get sick in winter.
“We want the government to do something to repair this school,” one of the angry parents told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun.am). “We don’t want land or anything from them, we just want them to replace the old windows and install a proper heating system, that’s not something big for them.”
Most of the students did not attend school today. Their parents say they won’t let them attend classes until proper conditions are ensured in the school building.
Armavir Governor Ghahramanian arrived in Jrarbi to meet with the protesters later on Monday. He promised that “changes will be noticed in the school within 10 days.” “We will try to install a heating system that will heat both the corridors and the classrooms,” the official said.
The newly appointed headmaster of the school, ruling Republican Party member Narek Zakarian, meanwhile, said he still had no idea about how the problems of the school will be solved. “We need to do it so as not to interfere with the classes. I don’t know what we are going to do and how. I have no idea,” he confessed.