“Káits” - a way through innovation towards excellent education - Mediamax.am


“Káits” - a way through innovation towards excellent education

Photo: Teach for Armenia

Photo: Teach for Armenia

Photo: Teach for Armenia

Photo: Teach for Armenia

Haykuhi Hovhannisyan
Haykuhi Hovhannisyan

Photo: Teach for Armenia

Teach For Armenia Foundation suggests becoming the spark - “Káits” - for changes that will create opportunities for all children in Armenia and Artsakh to have an excellent education in equal conditions. 


In addition to the two-year program which recruits, trains and places teacher-leaders in regions and communities, Teach For Armenia launches a new program.


“Káits” is at the forefront of innovation within the education sector, being the first of its kind in Armenia. “Káits” is for those who have innovative ideas and impactful solutions for creating an educational environment and discovering the potential of children, but don’t know how to implement these ideas.  


The program grants an opportunity for participants to receive mentorship, a monthly salary, and the chance to apply for seed funding in order to launch their own initiative.


Application deadline is April 26.


Haykuhi Hovhannisyan, Innovation Manager at Teach For Armenia, told Mediamax about the goals, the stages and the prospects of “Káits”.


Who can apply to “Káits”?


Anyone, be it an individual or a group, with an innovative idea for addressing problems and developing opportunities in the field of education, can apply to the program. The solutions and ideas can be at the idea stage or have the prototype ready to test.


“Teach For Armenia Alumni Ambassadors are the main potential program applicants. “Káits” grants them an opportunity to continue their leadership pathway in education by implementing innovation initiatives. They have lived in the communities for 2 years, taught at school, communicated with locals and the students, and are well aware of existing problems in the sphere of education, so they know exactly what opportunities there are to discover and develop.


There is no professional or age limit for applying to the program. What is important is to have ideas and be ready to partner with a Teach For Armenia Alumni in the first stage. On the one hand, we are doing this to ensure full participation of our Alumni, and on the other one- to provide additional assistance to participants by having a person by their side who has worked in school and rural community for 2 years and is well familiar with problems.

Haykuhi Hovhannisyan Haykuhi Hovhannisyan

Photo: Teach for Armenia

We also welcome and accept individuals who haven’t worked in education but have startups and prior experience in entrepreneurship and various innovative projects.”


What to expect in the Inspire stage


There are no strict acceptance criteria, and everyone will have equal educational opportunities. Applications should meet the minimum requirements: the idea should be educational, aligned with Teach For Armenia’s philosophy, and the applicant should be ready to partner with a TFA Alumni if they are not Alumni. Those who fail to tackle the milestones set during the program, will be dropped out.


“Káits” program structure consists of 4 stages. The duration of the first one, called Inspire, is 4 months. During this stage they will help the participants create and form ideas and have the prototype ready to build in the next stage.


“The participants are going to learn all the stages of social entrepreneurship, from generation of ideas to team formation, marketing, mastering of digital tools, business model design, etc. In 4-5 weeks, ideas will be finalized, teams will be formed and the work will continue within the teams.


The team is very important for building a startup. Statistics show that many startups fail because they don’t have a good team. That's why in the first stage we highlight the importance of a team, help identify its advantages and disadvantages and whether it is necessary to attract new members.


The TFA staff will work with them as trainers and provide mentorship. The best experts in the field will be also involved.”


How the idea materializes 


Participants will present their ideas at the end of the Inspire stage. The rubric which will be used to evaluate the projects is available at the website of the program. Winners are granted the opportunity to take part in the next Incubate stage and receive funding to build  the prototype ready to test within 6 months.


“The participants are presumably engaged in other activities as well. In order to avoid schedule clashes, we give them a chance to receive a part-time monthly salary so that they can dedicate at least 4 hours a day to the program. Teach For Armenia also provides an office space. 


At this stage, the participants build a prototype and test it. For example, if they’ve developed a mobile app, they should create the demo version, provide it to users and listen to their feedback. 

Photo: Teach for Armenia

The third stage is called Accelerate and lasts 6 months. During this stage the participants are involved full time, with a monthly salary. They should continue the testing, develop and improve the prototype, and finalize it. 


At the fourth stage, called Scale, the participants don’t receive funding directly from the program, but the Foundation helps them grow in scale and expand within the market, have financial stability. For example, if they don’t have a source of income, the Foundation helps them find funds, or if they want to work in many schools, then TFA, within its capabilities, helps them be independent.”


About the program duration


“Káits” has already received numerous applications from TFA Alumni, teachers, directors and even pupils. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the state of emergency, some changes were made to the program. It’s been already decided to conduct the first stage online.

Photo: Teach for Armenia

The application deadline has been prolonged till April 26. 


“From the very beginning we were planning to have at least two idea stages this year: the second stage kicks off in August, and simultaneously a first idea stage is announced again. However, due to the current situation we will make an additional announcement on next stages.


Lusine Gharibyan


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