After Classes Project: Extra School Study Groups and Activities for Children
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Region : Europe
National GDP Per Capita (USD) : 11,327 (IMF, 2018)
City Population: 1,172,000
Year Implemented : 2016
National Gini Index : 37.7 (World Bank, 2017)
Tags : CITIZEN PARTICIPATION EDUCATION
Technologies Utilized : Website
Funding Source : Government
Project Cost :
Project Savings :
Planned Project Duration :
KPIs : Website traffic, Contributions
Project Context and Overview
Worldwide, educators and parents have acknowledged the benefits of supplementary education and extracurricular activities outside the traditional classroom. These extracurricular activities have proven to enrich students’ lives and promote holistic development. In some cities, they are offered through the school system or private companies, yet parents often have to rely on recommendations or search for activities on their own.
In Omsk, parents and students had difficulty finding extracurricular activities adequate for their interests, age, and area of residency because the information was scattered through multiple catalogues or websites. To address this, the city created a website to provide thorough and up-to-date information on all private and public establishments. The website has been described as the “Skyscanner” of supplementary education. Users only need to input their location and activity of interest to find the best matches. The website also features a local events calendar, email notifications, and a comment section for every entry.
Project Planning and Implementation
The ICT Department of Omsk partnered with a local company to develop the website. The ICT Department did not allocate a separate budget for this project but included all costs in their daily operations.
The open website invites any citizen to participate by adding new entries or providing comments about classes. The Department of Education, Department of Culture, and the Department of Youth Policy and Sports helped launch the website by submitting the first entries and inviting other smaller municipal bodies to also include entries on the programs they offered. The website has been designed to be intuitive and user friendly, making it even more attractive for all stakeholders. The ICT Department also has editors that review the entries periodically.
This innovative service helps users save time and gives establishments a free space to promote their services. The success of the website heavily relies on the active online community of users who update the website and is instrumental in promoting an information-oriented society. This community has produced over 1,500 entries, which comprises 85-90% of all city supplementary education activities. The goal of the project is 100% registration of activities.
In May 2016, the project won first place in the All-Russia Regional IT-Projects Competition PROF-IT in the Education category. The All-Russian Forum PROF-IT was founded in 2013 by the Expert Center of the electronic state with the support of the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation.
Recommendations for Transfer
Major departments should take the main role in implementing like projects, and introduce it to other smaller government bodies, as was observed in the Omsk case. Presenting the project to private and public establishments as a free advertising platform also incentivize them to join and become active members. The website can also be scaled to sell advertising space for local institutions in order to ensure the website generates revenue to be able to keep up with maintenance costs.
Figures and Images