Latvian Rucksack initiative
”Latvian Rucksack” implies creation of professional art and cultural education (meaning programmes/events of theatres, concerts, cinema, museums, libraries, books) projects and provision of access thereto for the audience of children and youth throughout the territory of Latvia within the state guaranteed educational process. Latvian Rucksack would provide every child and young person, especially disadvantaged children and young people, with an opportunity, without any discrimination, to have direct access to professional culture and art to at least minimum extent. Every child and young person is given an opportunity to attend some cultural event: the programme of cultural events “Latvian Rucksack” would ensure access to cultural services; also diverse cultural content would be integrated in all levels of education and made accessible in the virtual environment. The program will give the opportunity to explore the Latvian values and strengthen the sense of belonging, experiencing art and cultural events. Providing possibilities to regularly get acquainted with the cultural values and contemporary manifestations, children and young people will get to know Latvian culture more deeply which in turn will contribute to a free, creative and responsible society respecting their country and willing to contribute to its growth. Latvian Rucksack will also act as a tool to promote national identity and civic education and the development of social unity. Particular attention will be paid to children and young people from the regions, as well as social risk families.
In order to ensure access to diverse cultural education services it is envisaged to draw up, within the scope of the programme “Latvian Rucksack”, museum pedagogical and cultural educational programmes regarding contemporary art, dance, cinema, music, heritage, literature, design, architecture, etc., and to ensure their accessibility to children and youth throughout the territory of Latvia. A special interinstitutional working group has been set up involving the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, National Centre for Education of Latvia, Latvian Association of Local and Regional governments, as well as experts from educational institutions and cultural organizations. The working group has set up project implementation principles, including equality in access, involvement of all pupils, full Latvian cultural and artistic offer coverage, regularity of events, traditional and contemporary balance, direct link to the learning process, contributing objectives of the national education standard, coordinated action of education and cultural institutions, local responsibility and promotion of a sense of belonging etc. 9 areas of intervention are defined: music, theatre, literature, visual arts, architecture, cinema, design, dance, including contemporary dance, cultural heritage/regional studies. With the Ministry of Education and Science the main negotiations are about connection of the program with the direct teaching process, reducing administrative barriers to learning outside of school and further education of teachers. It is planned to launch a pilot project in 2017/2018 school year, and in 2018 it is foreseen to officially launch the initiative as a special gift to Latvian society in Latvia’s centenary.
40 implemented “Latvian Rucksack” projects by 2020.
The state budget needed for the program is approximately EUR 3 million annually combined with financing from sponsors and patrons, municipal investment and others. Negotiations are under way with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and the Latvian Association of Local and Regional Governments to find a mechanism for providing access to cultural activities (travel expenses etc.). The working group considers that the national part of the financing should go to the municipalities, which will then make the most out of it through their network of schools. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, there are more than 203K pupils in 1-12 grades in general education schools, as well as around 7K pupils in vocational education schools. This means that attributing each pupil 14 euros, which would be the minimum amount for one important cultural event attendance, the total budget is close to 3 million euros, excluding costs necessary for the creation of new cultural products and operation of the program.