Teachers will be able to give onsite classes at the Moscow museums, Head of the Culture Department Alexander Kibovsky said at a news conference on the first City for Education international forum.
“We are giving teachers an opportunity to hold classes at museums. This will help us integrate the museum infrastructure with education and make learning more interesting,” Kibovsky said.
He said that onsite classes can be given on a variety of subjects. “We can create online classes in some 200 subjects based on the exhibits that are related to compulsory curriculum subjects,” he said.
In the past, even the teachers who knew the subject of museum exhibits were unable to take their pupils to them without guides. Trips to museums are held only rarely, and pupils are unable to visit all the museums of interest to them. For example, last year 232 Moscow schools, or over one third of the total number, organised less than a dozen trips to museums for their pupils.
The Mayor’s programme Museums for Children is designed to change these statistics. “Starting 1 September, all Moscow museums, or some 90 museums and exhibition halls, will have free admission for children. In other words, any child will be able to visit not just the main expositions but also special exhibits at museums for free 300 days a year,” Alexander Kibovsky said.
This programme opens museums to children from families of all income brackets to give them an impetus for aesthetic, scientific and spiritual development, discourage excessive use of the internet and help children find new friends.
If there are more than eight children in a group, one of the accompanying adults will be able to enter the museum free. If a group has 11 children, two adults will be able to enter free. Admission will be open to the holders of social cards or Moskvenok cards. Information on museum visits will automatically be added to the online diary. Parents will receive text messages indicating that their children are in a museum.
It has been estimated that the free admission will attract some 75 percent of pupils to museums. “This will more than double museum attendance. We expect some 4.5 million visits at Moscow museums next year,” Alexander Kibovsky said.
Pupils account for 25 percent of the total number of museum visitors. In the past, some 5,500 pupils visited Moscow museums per day. The figure increased fivefold to over 25,000 on open days, which are held every third Sunday and during New Year’s holidays.