In February 2021, Moscow City University joined the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project “Out of the Net“ which aims at preventing social withdrawal of school students. The number of young people who tend to voluntary isolate themselves and exclude offline social contact has increased recently. In Japan, the popular term coined for this phenomenon is ‘hikikomori’. The social withdrawal of the hikikomori is multifactorial and is often connected with a perceived incapacity in dealing with direct social interaction. More and more students leave school not because of learning difficulties, but because of emotional, communicative and behavioural problems.
The project “Out of the Net” is aimed at supporting school students and preventing the hikikomori syndrome by promoting real-life group interactions, creating a relational environment in which everyone can express their personal potentialities and empower social skills. These processes will be supported by psychologists, teachers, experts, and activities held with innovative tools, such as art and robotics, as well as continuous stimulation in self-recognition.
The project has a wide international scope including schools, universities and research institutions from Poland, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Russia. The duration of the project is 3 years, during which the partners will work on developing the training programmes for teachers and parents, design and delivery of efficient pedagogical practices to support social engagement of school students.