STEPANAKERT (Armradio) — Monday was the official start of the Artsakh phase of the TUMO Army program, a joint initiative between the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and the Defense Ministry of the Republic of Armenia. The launch was announced at the TUMO Center in Stepanakert by Minister of Defense for the Republic of Armenia Vigen Sargsian and TUMO CEO Marie Lou Papazian, with the participation of President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sakisian, Minister of Defense for the Republic of Artsakh Levon Mnatsakanian and AGBU representatives Lena Baghdasarian and Sasoon Baghdasaian.

The Stepanakert center, which was founded and operates through a partnership between TUMO and the Armenian General Benevolent Union, hosts over 100 army conscripts stationed in nearby bases. They are acquiring skills in computer programming, robotics, graphic design and digital music composition.

The program, implemented through a partnership between TUMO and the Ministry of Defense, has been running since February, having started in TUMO Dilijan. Participating soldiers have already completed the TUMO program’s initial self-learning stage and have entered the first level workshops of their choice.

Marie Lou Papazian gave further details about the TUMO Army program to the President and Minister and, based on previous discussions with Vigen Sargsyan, suggested options for future expansion of the initiative. Vigen Sargsian, in turn, affirmed the Defense Ministry’s intent to have a TUMO center at every major army base throughout the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh. He also welcomed the plans to build a TUMO center in the border town of Koghb, noting its importance in the context of the TUMO Army program.

The guests also viewed the display of Shushi-related infographics created during a joint project between TUMO and the Artsakh Ministry of Culture; the infographic designs were created by TUMO students during a learning lab with Lebanese specialist Ahmad Gharbieh. The minister is sure that once the soldiers have passed through the graphic design workshops, they will also gain such important skills in the field and will be able to create graphic design pieces for the army.

TUMO Army will give draftees the opportunity to acquire aptitudes that will make them more competitive both while they are serving in the Army and once they return to civilian life. The program will help discover the full potential of soldiers who might not otherwise have the possibility of developing their areas of interest outside of formal educational institutions.

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