October 2018

Culture and Leisure Centers as providers of non-formal education and training

The outputs of the first phase (2016-2018) of project "Assistance to development of the potential of culture and leisure centers", carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Namangan Region and Karshi District, Kashkadarya Region, have been reviewed. The project's activities consisted of three key components: strengthening the material and technical base and staff development, as well as developing educational programs at the centres of culture and leisure.

The outputs of the first phase (2016-2018) of project "Assistance to development of the potential of culture and leisure centers", carried out in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Namangan Region and Karshi District, Kashkadarya Region, have been reviewed.  The project's activities consisted of three key components: strengthening the material and technical base and staff development, as well as developing educational programs at the centres of culture and leisure.

Along with the technical equipment of classrooms, special emphasis was placed on improving the skills of pilot culture and leisure centers workers, as well as expanding their range of cultural and educational services for the population.

Developing the potential of pilot workers of the centers was one of the most important and at the same time complex area of the project activity. On the one hand, there is a great need for such capacity-building, stemming from the lack of an advanced training system for centre employees, and on the other hand, providing cultural and educational services requires specific knowledge and skills in management, marketing of educational services, and organizing and conducting educational activities (including adult education). All this required the development of a strategy for measures aimed at a gradual improvement of skills of center workers.

During the first phase, a series of trainings were held: “Modern requirements for organizing and conducting adult education”, “Interactive teaching methods”, “Features of managing a cultural and leisure institution”, “Marketing in education institute”, “Modern methods of organizing and conducting cultural educational activities”. Over 100 employees from Culture and Leisure Centers of Namangan region and Karshi district, Kashkadarya region took part in these trainings.

After the training courses "Features of organization and conduct of adult education", "Interactive teaching methods", further coaching was organized, which helped to improve the quality of training through organizing mentoring in the workplace.

The absolute majority of the participants of these events highly appreciated substantive, methodological and organizational aspects of the trainings courses conducted, stressing the importance of the topics considered for their practical activities and expressed a desire to participate in similar trainings in the future.

Contributing to the development of a range of educational services targeted at socially vulnerable segments of the population (women and young people) through the creation of an education portfolio of high-quality at the Center is another important task of the project.

During the first phase of the pilot programme, the following course formats were developed for training in professional skills - "Cutting and sewing", "Sewing curtains", "Photo and video shooting", "Making national musical instruments", "Assistant office manager", "Computer Basics literacy”, which were attended by about 1,000 people. For trainees at the age of 18 to 25 years "Personal growth" training courses were conducted.

A “School of Young Leaders” was opened in the culture and leisure center of Karshi District, the goal of which is to promote the development and strengthening of key skills and competencies of young people so that they can find their opportunities in the labor market and become self-confident citizens actively participating in social and community-oriented tasks.

Over 500 people took part in “Healthy Lifestyle” workshops and lectures/meetings on topical issues of culture, art, and also effective leisure of the population.

The outputs of the first phase of the project (2016-2018) showed the viability of the main project idea - using culture and leisure centers as a base for the development of non-formal education. The project in practice has shown that with certain investments and proper organization of work, the culture and leisure centers can serve for various categories of the population as a space for non-formal education and training.