Kyiv, October 1, 2015. In October Ukraine will launch its first online civic education platform “VUM” (Eng. ‘Open Maidan University’). This free, distance education platform provides a wide choice of courses in the form of video lectures held at convenient times. “Through education we begin to build a new civic consciousness of Ukrainian society. The Maidan revolution launched this process, we only have to develop and consolidate it,” said Ostap Stasiv, one of the initiators of the Open Maidan University, Coordinator of the School of Conscious Citizens (SHUH), and the online VUM civic education platform at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.
Dmytro Sherembey, Chairman of the Patients of Ukraine charity foundation, author of the Creative Activism course on VUM online, stressed the importance of transferring knowledge directly to the people who need it. “Now any person in Ukraine will have an opportunity to enter and, by two clicks, get knowledge and technologies to play a full civic role. Any person can take and apply this knowledge straight away,” said Sherembey.
VUM online will be especially useful for those people who live in remote parts of the country and cannot travel to the capital easily but are seeking knowledge, explained Mykhailo Krykunov, Dean of the Kyiv Business School, author of the ‘Strategic Thinking’ distance course on VUM online. “We have an opportunity to convey to Ukrainians the voice of people willing to help, who can equip them with the tools to succeed. To do this you need to educate civil society,” said Krykunov.
According to Anton Savchenko, Head of the Development and Implementation Department of Roll’n’Code IT company, VUM online plans to translate the platforms into English, and work on the release of mobile applications for the platform.
Stasiv informed that in October Ukrainian citizens will have access to the first courses such as ‘Finance- Based Management Decisions’, ‘Strategic Thinking’, ‘Constitution of Ukraine’ – the ‘Citizen’s ABC’, ‘Creative Activism’ and ‘My Story: Experience, Value, and Impact’. In addition, it is planned to start five more courses by the end of the year. VUM online plans to add another 20 full courses next year. “The bar has been set high, we hope for 100,000 visitors by the middle of 2016. Reaching 10 percent of the population would be a fine achievement,” said Stasiv.