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Press Release from 2020-01-21 / Group

Digital education for young people in Germany: KfW finances first TUMO learning centre in Berlin

  • Innovative concept transferred from Armenia to Germany
  • Pupils learn animation, programming, robotics and more after school
  • Free educational programme increases fosters opportunities
  • After establishing centres in Beirut and Paris, now in Germany for the first time

KfW is stepping up its commitment to promoting education in Germany with an innovative flagship project: by autumn 2020 a learning centre for digital education will be set up in Berlin based on the model of the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies developed in Armenia. Every week, around 1,200 young people between the ages of 12 and 18 will have the opportunity to learn digital technologies and skills free of charge after school. The signing ceremony of the franchise and licensing agreement between KfW and TUMO, which took place today at the KfW branch office in Berlin, was attended by Dorothee Bär, Minister of State for Digitalisation at the Federal Chancellery, and Ashot Smbatyan, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Germany.

The TUMO learning concept was developed in Armenia in 2011 and since is being successfully implemented nationwide. There are already TUMO centres outside Armenia in Paris and Beirut. Through the KfW initiative, the first of these modern learning facilities for digital education will be set up in Germany, specifically in Berlin/Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. KfW is financing equipment and operation for the next five years.

Named after the Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan – abbreviated TUMO – the learning centres enable young people to acquire skills in digital technologies and creative methods, including animation, programming, 3D modelling and robotics, but also music, film and photography. The students set off on their own – digitally assisted – learning journey in self-study sessions and workshops. The programmes are voluntary and free. The aim is to equip young people to deal with the challenges and opportunities of digitalisation in society and at work. The TUMO centre in Berlin financed by KfW is the first free after-school learning programme that deals with a diverse range of digital topics in Germany. It will also be open to children from educationally disadvantaged families and thus foster equal opportunities. KfW's long-term objective is to find more partners and thus promote the constitution of aa nationwide network of learning centres in Germany based on the Armenian model.

Dorothee Bär, Member of the Bundestag, Minister of State in the Federal Chancellery and Federal Government Commissioner for Digitalisation: “Education without digital education is no longer an option. We need age-appropriate programmes for children and young people both inside and outside school. I am therefore very pleased about KfW's initiative to open the first TUMO learning centre in Germany. The fact that young people can acquire technical skills and learn to think digitally free of charge after school is a benefit – for each pupil, but also for our society and economy. We need digital minds that will shape the future of our country with their skills and innovations. I am confident that TUMO will become just as successful in Germany as it was in Armenia.”

Dr Ingrid Hengster, Member of KfW's Executive Board: “Promoting education is one of KfW's main priorities. With TUMO we are transferring an innovative project to promote digital education for young people from one of KfW's partner countries in development cooperation. This is especially exciting. The same applies to digitalisation: we can only rise to the challenges and be truly successful if we learn from each other. Which is why I hope that we will find many partners in Germany for this project.”

Pegor Papazian, TUMO co-managing director: “The opening of a TUMO centre in Berlin is a milestone for us because Germany is a pioneer in technology and engineering and we are particularly pleased to be able to contribute to these accomplishments.”

KfW is already promoting education in Germany together with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) with its student and education loan and funding for students under the Upgrading Training Assistance Act (AFGB). As promotional bank of the federal and state governments, it is also supporting the process of digital transformation in Germany with various funding programmes for companies and municipalities.

Information on funding opportunities is available at: www.kfw.de or from the KfW information centre using the free hotline +49 800 539 9002.

Information on TUMO centres is available here: www.tumo.org