What serious thoughts I have here, on the roof! Here is the summary of the interview with the Director of Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educomplex Ashot Bleyan, taken by the journalist of the Magazine ”Hyusisapail-Northern Lights”
-Mr. Bleyan, how could you think of the soft school and the skills for it 30 years ago?
-How I could think 30 years ago…Is it the mind that matters for thinking? The mind should be able to see. It should go ahead. What is the limit for the mind? It is just the mind that we see with. They say that the most important things are seen with the heart, and the mind can’t be separated from the heart. Tolstoy used to speak about another kind of mind which he called the heart mind.
We use our mind badly: thinking has such capacities … When God created man, he set in him such a means, mindset, mind … and gave us the opportunity to recognize the world with that mind. That world is so surprizing, so complicated! We use our mind badly, sometimes we get lazy, we soon get tired of thinking, we become mechanical, and sometimes flat, artificial …
A thinking man is charming, attractive. The word soft which quoted from my diary note was previously taken from from the speech made by the founder of Alibaba Company. It is that very mind which seems to be a great skill. Instead of using that soft skill, instead of showing your talent you want to keep pace with the machines which will do the same things much better.
That man interested me in two ways. Firstly, nowadays, it is not an easy thing to be the owner and founder of one of the richest and most well-known companies in the world. It is not merely a soft skill or a success. It doesn’t happen at random. Secondly, I was much interested in his thoughts about education and school. I saw a thinker whose pedagogical ideas are close to mine, and I wrote about it in my diary note showing that two different people living in different corners of the world have the same ideas and points of view. And if you are also interested you may invite him here. I think that the owner of Alibaba would like to look at the world from the roof of our educational complex. He is sure to understand more things.
Mr. Bleyan, how did you decide to create such an educational complex with such pedagogy?
– It was in 1979. It was a difficult year for me, because I graduated from the Faculty of Physics at Yerevan State University, I was a famous student. I was the leader of the student movement. It seemed like everything was fine … but there is such a thing as tumbling down, and that was what happened to me. I was thrown into the street from Yerevan State University. I was only 24 years old. It was a very difficult time for me … as a shock in my life … I had a vision and I decided to make a transition to pedagogy, and in that shock, in the excitement, you know, the imagination works better. I decided I would create my school, which would be called Bleyan school. And when a few months ago, Vigen Avetis, my good friend, your good teacher, friend, appeared and said that he wanted to create a Vigen Avetis sculpture school, it was so dear to me that I immediately told myself that many people had hindered him, and few of them helped him, but now you already know that it will be good for many children to meet you, to take advantage of being students of your school.
-Which school did you go to? Did that school help you, in a way, to create a free school?
I studied at Yerevan school number 60. It was an old and good school. I have a principle that I owe to many people for my all achievements: to my father, of course, then to my sisters and brothers (we were six children in our family, and I was the youngest. All my five siblings were my teachers and caretakers) to my school, teachers, neighbors, friends. And I am the only one who is responsible for all my failures.