The most prominent programme to promote participation of school children in cultural life in Norway in recent years has been The Cultural Rucksack(Den kulturelleskolesekken (DKS) which was established as a national scheme in 2001. From 2007, the programme was extended to also include high schools.
DKS is a national initiative for professional art and culture in education in Norway, with the following objectives:
- to help to ensure that pupils in primary, lower secondary schools and high schools are offered a professional arts and culture programme;
- to make it easier for primary, lower secondary school and high school pupils to gain access to, make themselves familiar with and have a positive approach to art and cultural expression of all kinds; and
- to contribute to an overall incorporation of artistic and cultural expression in the realisation of the school’s learning objectives.
DKS is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research and is mainly funded by profits from Norsk Tipping A/S (Norway’s state-owned gaming company). One of the preconditions of DKS is that experiences of art and culture in schools should compensate for any inequalities due to a pupil’s social background.