TANDZUT, Artsakh—The secondary school of the Tandzut community located in Kashatagh’s northern wing of the Republic of Artsakh is now open, and is welcoming its students after a half-year long reconstruction organized and implemented by the Tufenkian Foundation. The institution will bear the name of Adam Sahakyan, who was one of the soldiers who died valiantly during the 2016 Four-Day War, and was awarded the title of Hero of Artsakh by the government. Artsakh government officials, including the state minister, Adam Sahakyan’s family members, and the Foundation staff, were present at the ceremony.
With a population of around 100 people, Tandzut is one of the resettled communities of Kashatagh. The previous school had no reliable conditions to ensure efficient and comfortable studies. The newly reconstructed school will offer modern classrooms with the necessary equipment and safety standards. It will also serve nearby communities, which lack sufficient resources for high-quality public education.
“A good school is a cornerstone for a stronger community. The presence of such a facility plays a key role in the resettlement process, and we hope that the number of students will increase in the future. Many families check the availability of school before moving to the liberated territories. Today we can surely say that our efforts will have an impact”, said the Executive Director of the Foundation, Raffi Doudaklian. He also noticed that, a few months ago, the Foundation completed the construction of a new house in the same village, which now awaits its future owners. In the scope of the Foundation’s resettlement program in northern Kashatagh, the reconstruction of Tandzut’s school was one of the key initiatives.
The government provided materials for the roof, new furniture, and heating systems for the school, while the Foundation reconstructed the Soviet-era building. “This is a moment of exceptional pride for our entire family. It is the utmost pride that the school named after Adam is in Artsakh. Let this be the launch of something bigger. I can find my son in each of these children’s eyes, and I am sure that they will become great citizens”, said Gayane, the mother of Adam Sahakyan. The opening ceremony gathered the entire population of the village, while smoke was still coming out of the chimneys of the older building, where children had to study in half-destroyed rooms, walk through dark hallways, and attend classes in this hazardous structure.
“This is the third school opening in Kashatagh this year. It is not a secret that one of the pillars of a successful state is the education system, and this school is a bright sample,” said Artsakh’s Minister of Education, Narine Aghabalyan.
The full reconstruction of the school was the Foundation’s last major project in the northern wing of Kashatagh. During the past 16 years, the Foundation has successfully implemented dozens of projects, including housing for re-settlers, renovation of cultural sites, reconstruction of schools and kindergartens, administrative and community buildings and strategic infrastructures for the communities.
Founded in 1999 by entrepreneur James Tufenkian, the Tufenkian Foundation has worked in Artsakh for over 16 years. Its on-the-ground efforts feature the promotion of resettlement, infrastructure, healthcare, and other development programs.