Local authorities from Vilnius are very proud of the fact that in just one year they have managed to control the capital’s debts, reform the system of signing for kindergartens, conduct improvements in the fields of maintaining cleanliness in the city, energetics and social services. Some of the plans could not have been realized yet, but only because they are high ambitious – they argue. In the work year report, presented today by mer Remigijus Šimašius and his team, there could be found only a short reference regarding reorganization of school network that has been very controversial so far.
”The reorganization of school network in Vilnius that lasted for past 10 years is finally finished. From the September the 1st, nine high schools have become primary schools and they now realize the primary learning program”- the report said.
“Finishing the reorganization required tough decisions, however it opened up completely new possibilities. There soon won’t be any school with half empty classrooms and the overcrowded institutions will breathe a sigh of relief. I’m glad that from now on we all have much more important goal – to provide young Vilnius people with high-quality education in a modern school environment” – vice-mer Valdas Benkunskas comments.
Meanwhile, not every Vilnius schools have been reorganized. The situation of Joachim Lelewel and Władysław Syrokomla polish schools is still unclear. The first one is applying for accreditation and is running a dispute with the city authorities over a building. According to city council’s decision, from the 1 September, 2007, its students will move from the building at the Altakalnis and are supposed to continue their education in the building situated at Minties St., currently occupied by the A. Wiwulski branch. The school community opposes to such a decision. On the other hand, Wł. Syrokomla High School wants to obtain the long junior high school status with a catholic profile that, according to the ministry and the local authorities, requires the participation of a second cofounder – catholic organization or institution. The representatives of the school think such a co-founder is unnecessary.
Situation of the Szymon Konarski School is also ambiguous – although the students from 11-12 grade are now formally the students of Adam Mickiewicz Junior High School, they are still having their lessons in their old school which causes a lot of administrative trouble. The representatives of polish community that are opposing to the school reorganization, are failing to reach an agreement with the local authorities.
However, during the report presentation, the mer and his deputies focused on other issues.
”We have very ambitious plans, so I cannot claim we have managed to realize everything we were supposed to – there is still a lot of work to do, especially in the field of managing the companies, city beautification and many others”-mer said during the presentation of the annual report.
In his opinion, in a year of the new city authorities, ”building of the new capabilities for Vilnius in the future and staring serious works” have been accomplished. As the most significant initiatives Šimašius enumerated changes in kindergarten system – 100 Euro compensation for families with children attending private kindergartens and setting up new kindergartens. According to mer, in just a year, 2000 new work places in kindergartens were created. Mer also stressed the reduction of tax for babysitters to only 1 euro.
Remigijus Šimašius reminded about the rest homes reform, organization of the dwelling yards, creation of new sidewalks and squares, repair of Willa embankment. He also mentioned the private initiatives such as a planned construction of the Modern Art Centre or two swimming pools.
Mer also pointed the improving finance results of self-government companies, providing users with self-government’s data, positive grade given by the weekly Financial Times and other awards, Vilnius entering into the Uber company.
The local authorities of the city emphasized the fact that they have managed to control the capital’s debts – they expect Vilnius to repay 120 millions euro to its creditors. Nonetheless, in a year, the capital’s debt has increased by 7 million euro.
Tłumaczenie by Aleksandra Nowakowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Aleksandra Nowakowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.