By Sona Martikyan
“It all starts with the passion for exploration and then there is hardly any lack of resource and opportunity,” says Narek Manukyan, an AUA alumnus who studied Political Science and International Affairs (PSIA). Narek is an example of a person who continually works on self-realization and uses all the surrounding resources to reach newer goals. He confidently moves forward and is currently involved in the National Program for Educational Excellence (NPEE) at AYB foundation as a Chief of Staff.
According to Narek, passion for exploration is key especially in an academic environment and NPEE’s mission is to make it an important part of learning in local high schools. The program is one of Armenia’s boldest initiatives aimed at the long-term transformation of general education and competitiveness of the country’s human resource. It proposes a model where the focus is on developing high-order thinking skills, teaching through mentoring and coaching, assessment to drive learning and school environment that nourishes that passion towards learning. Within this program, Narek partners with UCL Institute of Education and Cambridge Assessment International Education, part of the University of Cambridge.
Quality higher education plays a major role in student’s professional career. As an AUA graduate, Narek also knows how to gain richer experience while studying at AUA’s PSIA department. He thinks that willingness and hard work will help PSIA students learn much more than what is on the surface. “Learning in an academic environment largely depends on the learner as a contributor to the broader environment. If the learner is reluctant, there’s hardly much gain either for the environment or the learner. It is a dynamic process, and those who want to apply to AUA PSIA program or any other academic institution need to first, rethink their motives as social animals,” he says.
While studying at PSIA department, he also understood that the definitive factor of AUA PSIA is the diversity of the teaching faculty, the subjects and the richness of intellectual discussion one can get if one puts the effort. AUA gives the necessary environment for learning and exchanging knowledge.
Narek’s current position in life largely depends on the way he perceives learning. His experience shows that it is important to take every chance to get one step closer to self-realization. And for an ambitious self-explorer, it will be good advice to help moving forward.