How voluntary certification helps Armenian teachers to earn more
Salary increase after certification
In Armenia, salary of teachers who voluntarily pass certification will raised to 200,000 drams ($440) instead of the previous 108,000-125,000 drams ($230-275), that is, it will almost double. This decision was made by the government at the end of April. Оnly two weeks after, the Ministry of Education reported that starting from May, 478 teachers would receive increased salaries, the highest at the moment is 533,000 drams ($1,170). And this is without taking into account the category assigned to teachers. With the bonus for categories, the salaries of teachers who have passed the certification will be even higher.
Prior to the government’s decision to conduct voluntary certification and the introduction of a system of allowances, teachers were on the list of low-paid specialists.
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“Reform of fundamental importance”
Voluntary certification of teachers was held in Armenia for the first time in 2021. Teachers of grades 7-12 could participate in the first stage of certification in only seven subjects. This year, certification is scheduled for September. Teachers of grades 5-12 will be able to participate in it – in all subjects.
The salaries of teachers who passed the certification in 2021 have already increased by 30-50%, depending on the scores received during the test of their knowledge. According to the justification of the government’s new draft, these “surcharges do not lead to a significant increase in wages”. And now, after changing the teacher’s rate, the salary, which will increase by a minimum of 30%, will amount to 260,000 drams ($570).
Starting from May 2022, the change in the rate will also apply to those teachers who passed the certification last year.
The Prime Minister of Armenia considers the voluntary certification to be a “reform of fundamental importance.” Nikol Pashinyan says that now the teacher has a chance to “decide for himself what salary to receive.” As a result of this reform, in his opinion, teachers’ salaries will not only increase, but the profession itself will become more attractive.
The authors of the project expect that voluntary certification
- encourage the professional development of teachers,
- will lead to an increase in the quality and efficiency of training due to additional payment for their work,
- increase the number of male teachers in public schools.
Minister of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports Vahram Dumanyan emphasizes that in order to improve the level of education, in parallel with certification, specialized training sessions are also held.
The prime minister links the gaps in various areas with systemic problems in the field of education, therefore declaring their solution a government priority.
In 2021, out of 1,372 teachers who applied for voluntary certification, 996 took part in it. 468 teachers, that is, 47.2%, overcame the passing barrier and 528 people failed to pass it.
Based on the results of certification and the introduction of a salary increase system, 166 teachers received a 50% increase, 153 teachers – a 40% increase, and 159 people – a 30% increase.
“Whoever fails to pass the certification will lose their job”
Pashinyan emphasized that teachers who took part in the certification last year have the opportunity to file cases again and receive a higher score this time and, accordingly, a higher salary:
“We will give all teachers the opportunity to participate in the assessment several times. But from moment X, those teachers who have not passed the certification simply will not work at the school. I want everyone to understand this information very clearly”.
The increase in teachers’ salaries is influenced both by the points scored by them in the course of attestation and by the size of the allowance for the categories assigned to them.
The Ministry of Education has already released the new salaries of 478 teachers – so far without calculating the allowance for the category.
“We have more than two dozen teachers who will receive 400,000 drams ($880) or more from May, depending on the number of teaching hours. We have teachers whose salaries will reach 450,000 ($990). The highest salary at the moment, excluding the category, is about 533,000 drams ($1.170)”, said Zhanna Andreasyan, Deputy Minister of Education.
She assured that full information on teachers’ salaries will be provided in the near future, taking into account categories.