The Defender applied to the Constitutional Court for making school textbooks free of charge

Human Rights Defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan applied to the Constitutional Court in regard to the constitutionality of textbooks’ fees at the state schools of general education.

Specifically, the RA Law on Education stipulates that textbooks shall be provided free of charge only for pupils of 1st to 4th classes, while for those studying at fifth or higher classes certain fees are defined. Meanwhile, according to RA Constitution, secondary education within state educational institutions shall be free of charge. In the current situation, while considering “hidden payments”, child’s constitutional right to a free secondary education is endangered.

Furthermore, the law or other normative legal acts do not prescribe any differentiated approach that exempt vulnerable groups from such payments, leaving this process on the decision of pedagogical and parent councils of the educational institution.

Examination of the complaints submitted to the Defender (both from the President of “Disability Info” NGO Zaruhi Batoyan and citizens) shows that the abovementioned regulations create number of difficulties for children and their parents.