Russian students to study volunteering skills
Artem Metelev, Chairman of the Association of Volunteer Centres and Member of the Russian Public Chamber, announced, ‘In conjunction with the Russian Ministry of Science, the Association will be drawing up a list of the topics to be incorporated into the education modules on the principles of volunteering. President Vladimir Putin has already given his support to our idea of creating a system to recognise the skills and experience that volunteers have, and we have begun to introduce the system. It will be integrated into a Single Information System known as ‘The Volunteers of Russia’ and employers will be able to consult the system and factor in people’s social contribution and skills when considering their job applications.’
Artem Metelev made the comments while speaking in a panel discussion entitled ‘The development of social education in higher education’ during the Russian Investment Forum on 14th February. He urged everyone present to make their own contribution to the development of education programmes on the principles of volunteering.
In the coming autumn the Association of Volunteer Centres and the Russian Youth Organisation, Rosmolodyozh, are aiming to set up the Online University of Social Sciences. Various webinars, exams and other kinds of educational material will be available free of charge and students who complete the course will receive certificates.
The Association also plans to bring under one roof all the 250 Volunteer Centres that are currently attached to different universities and technical colleges. The Association will be able to take advantage of the input from experts, who will be able to act as mentors, sharing their experience with students and ‘silver’ volunteers.
Sergei Golubov, the General Director of the Social Investment Foundation, spoke about his role in introducing two novel technologies into education, the Children’s Foresight programme in Russian schools, and The Accelerator of Social Enterprise in universities. He also described his understanding of volunteer training overseas. At Harvard University, for instance, every curriculum, regardless of the subject studied, includes a module on social enterprise. Golubov believes this is extremely important to encourage business to serve and develop society. At the moment in Russia this sense of social commitment is lacking. The Social Investment Foundation is therefore introducing similar modules in Russian courses, in collaboration with the Plekhanov University of Economics.