A new upper secondary qualification from Armenia will appear this year, with the first cohort now in the concluding phase of their studies and set to take their final exams in June.
The Araratian Baccalaureate (AB) is not yet available at all Armenian schools as it is still in pilot phase, but it is planned to be launched nationally as an academically rigorous programme to high-performing school students, to be undertaken in the last 3 years of the 12-year Armenian public school system.
The AB is taught in Armenian but is designed to be international in outlook, with all students exposed to at least 3 languages.
The Ayb Foundation, an Armenian not-for-profit organisation working towards education innovation, is in partnership with Armenia’s Ministry of Education and Science to design the new qualification, as part of the National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE).
Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) has assisted the Ayb Foundation in establishing the new Araratian Baccalaureate Examination Board (ABEB) and are drafting and setting the exam papers in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology for the first year, alongside support and training in marking and administration to prepare for handover in due course to the new ABEB. As part of its oversight of the process, CIE will be providing a certificate and confirming the equivalency of ABEB exam grades to CIE A-Levels.
UK NARIC will begin an independent evaluation and benchmarking of the new qualification in March 2016, travelling to Armenia in April to observe delivery of the new syllabus and the practical implementation of the new curriculum.
This will be followed by a review of the first exam papers and marking schemes, and student exam performance data from the first cohort.
UK NARIC’s study is scheduled to conclude in August and will produce comparisons of the AB to other international upper secondary qualifications. The findings will be shared through NARIC News.
For further information on the AB or UK NARIC’s independent evaluation and benchmarking work, email [email protected]