September 2017

Vitebsk takes first steps towards becoming a “learning city”

On August 31, 2017, a kick-off round table within the framework of the program “Learning city for creative economy” was held on the premises of Vitebsk City Executive Committee. The programme is implemented by DVV International Belarus in cooperation with the Association of Lifelong Learning and Enlightenment, Association for Business Education and NGO “Social Interventions” with the support of local authorities.

The event was attended by the representatives of local authorities, public and private educational institutions, business and non-governmental organisations. The participants were welcomed by the member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Tatiana Starinskaya, Deputy Chairman of Vitebsk City Executive Committee Podgursky Petr and Head of DVV International Belarus Galina Veramejchyk.

 During the round table, the organizers presented a retrospective review of the activities of DVV International Belarus and its partners in Vitebsk and spoke about the main principles of the concepts "learning city" and "creative economy". In the second part of the event, participants discussed the possibility of the city joining the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. As a result of the discussion, a working group was formed that will develop a plan for implementing the concept of a "learning city" in Vitebsk and, in the future, prepare the documents for the city's entry into the Global Network.

The presentation of the activities of “Ilva” tourist salon as a vivid example of creative economy in action added a creative note to the program of the round table: a traditional puppet show about the history of Vitebsk City and a video dedicated to the life and work of the famous Vitebsk man Marc Chagall were presented to the participants.

The program "Learning city for creative economy" is a continuation of the project "Learning region: education for all generations" implemented in 2012-2014 within the framework of the Support Program of Belarus of the Federal Government of Germany. Further discussion of the prospects for Vitebsk to join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities will be held at the international conference "Learning city for creative economy" in Minsk on October 5-6, 2017.