STEPANAKERT, Artsakh—May 8 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. About 150 soldiers from nearby bases have attended the center through the pilot program. The participants will gain skills in computer programming, robotics, graphic design and digital music composition. Among the participants are former TUMO Yerevan students who will now be continuing their education while serving.
The launch was announced at the TUMO Center in Stepanakert by Minister of Defense for the Republic of Armenia Vigen Sargsyan and TUMO CEO Marie Lou Papazian, with the participation of President of the Republic of Armenia Serge Sarkisian, Minister of Defense for the Republic of Artsakh Levon Mnatsakanyan and Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) representatives Lena Baghdasaryan and Sasoon Baghdasaryan.
The program has been running since February in TUMO Dilijan where participating soldiers have already completed the TUMO program’s initial self-learning stage and have entered the first level workshops of their choice.
During the May 8 visit, Marie Lou and TUMO Stepanakert Manager Korioun Khatchadourian gave further details about the TUMO Army program to the President and Minister. Moreover, based on previous discussions with Vigen Sargsyan, Marie Lou suggested options for future expansion of the initiative. Vigen Sargsyan, 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 by TUMO students during their 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.