Site Recruitment Process & ICC Types

School Involvement in ASCP

The recruitment process of Armenia School Connectivity Program schools has been conducted through an open merit-based competition. The recruitment completed on October 15, 2004, and 330 schools all over Armenia were selected to be connected to the Program Network. Throughout years of site set-up, some of the ASCP schools were impacted by the optimization reforms initiated within the framework of Armenia Education Quality and Relevance Project: because of school building maintenance funds being higher than the staff/student enrollment levels, some ASCP schools merged into one another, reducing the number of schools involved in the ASCP network. As well, in the result of program internal assessments, a few schools were removed from the network due to inadequate and unsatisfactory level of participation in the program.
To complete the enrollment of 330 schools, ASCP conducted an extra recruitment stage. The list of schools, updated upon changes, is provided in the website.

Recruitment Scheme

Program Promotion & Enrollment Competition: The different media and Regional Departments of Education, Sports and Culture were notified by PH about the launching of recruitment in a certain region. The announcements and information on the recruitment presentation data got circulated among all schools of the relevant region. During the program introductory meeting with principals, detailed presentation of program specifics and recruitment process outline was delivered, followed by intensive Q&A session; afterwards applications were distributed. The potential applicants were provided with an opportunity to clarify their questions with Project Harmony staff during a follow-up consultation meeting in each region.
Applicant Assessment & Announcement: During the first round of assessment, all applications submitted in a certain region were closely reviewed by PH evaluation teams. The second round entailed assessment visit to the site by the selection committee comprised of representatives from the Ministry of Education and Science, the Public Affairs Section in the US Embassy of Armenia and Project Harmony. Each member of the committee formally completed a formal evaluation form of the visited schools, and in conclusion, the during the Final Review meeting winner schools were announced based on the scores accumulated from all the Evaluation team.
Selection Criteria: The school selection was based mainly on the criteria presented above:

  • Principal's support for the program and willingness to share the Internet Computer Center classroom with the community and other schools
  • High motivation of the school academic and administrative staff to effectively use the classroom (e.g. on-line courses, curriculum development, development of web-sites for local businessmen, etc.)
  • Presence of community involvement in the school activities
  • Presence of school’s participation in any U.S. government programs
  • Presence of school’s participation in any reformative programs organized by NGOs, the Ministry of Education, and other related organizations
  • School's academic background (quantities and qualitative)
  • Connectivity conditions of school and its geographic location
  • other

Types of ICC Technical & Renovation Support Packages

The ACSP, compared with other hardware providing programs in Armenia, is largely a school connectivity program. Therefore, the program operations dominate over computer provision activities. The program tried to combine into the program technical network a certain percent of schools which were already involved in computerization programs, such as the World Bank financed School Improvement Program, the small grants programs funded by the Open Society of Armenia –Assistance Foundation, etc.
Based on the assessment and selection criteria, the ASCP has distinguished between three main types of ICC Technical & Renovation Support Packages. The different package types included different levels of site establishment support:

  1. Full Package (PH provided - thorough renovation of the ICC room and appropriate furniture, 6 Pentium IV computers, one of which operates as a server, 1 scanner, 1 printer, 1 digital camera, and Internet connection).
  2. Partial Package (2-3 Pentium IV computers, 1 printer and/or 1 scanner, 1 digital camera and Internet connection).
  3. Access Only (only Internet connection).

ICC Operations & Management

Since January of 2005, the Armenia School Connectivity Program scheme was modified in its format of cooperation with the beneficiary schools,. This was linked with the gradual transfer of the program’s financial administration from the US government to the Armenian government. With the US funding levels for the program slowly fading, some of the program aspects got co-financed from the RA State budget, while a few aspects started to be financially administered by the beneficiary schools.

  • Before Jan. 01, 2005, each ICC was administered by two site monitors, who were recruited by PH, trained in a number of technical and programmatic trainings, and were functioning as the primary liaison between the school and Project Harmony office. Currently each school administrator chooses the necessary level of staffing for the ICC.
  • ASCP used to provide standard salary for all site staff, however, when in January of 2005, the program stepped into a transition period, neither ECA or RA government secured funds for ICC employees. The responsibility of ICC employee maintenance and decisions for staff funding levels was transferred to the School management. Thus, according to the schools’ financial capacity, currently different salary amounts are provided to staff.
  • The ICCs across the country used to operate following a standard, PH-instructed schedule – they were open to their beneficiaries for 10 mandatory hours, out of which 8 were educational and 2 community hours. In the result of programmatic changes, since Jan. of 2005 the mandatory hours of ICC operations changed from 10 to 5 (3 are educational and 2 are community hours). As well, each ICC operates according to the individual schedule, designed and approved by the school administration and educational staff.
  • For the Fiscal Year of 2005, throughout July-December the fees for monthly Internet connection and ICC equipment upgrades of 180 ASCP schools fell under the co-funding of RA government. However, the program and technical activities in the pool of the mentioned 180 schools are supported by Project Harmony and Harmony Fund.