- August 28, 2015
Condition of education in Vilnius area – we have something to boast about
On Thursday, 27th August, in St. Urszula Ledóchowska Junior High School in Czarny Bór (lit. Juodšilių seniūnija) a conference of schools’ headmasters in the Vilnius region was held. The topic of the conference was an overview of the region’s educational situation, aims and tasks in the new school year of 2015/2016. The vice-mayor of the Vilnius area, Jan Gabriel Mincewicz greeted the meeting’s attendees with a few words of welcome. He expressed his satisfaction that the majority of high schools in the area obtained accreditation and was transformed into junior high schools. The vice-mayor appealed to the headmasters of a few schools left to make all necessary arrangements and obtain status of junior high school within the time limit given by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania.
THE NETWORK OF SCHOOLS
The overview of how beneficial is the current education system of the first term of year 2015 in the Vilnius area was conducted by the head of Educational Department of the Local Government’s Administration in Vilnius Region, Lilia Andruszkiewicz.
In the period from January to June 2015 in Vilnius region there were 45 comprehensive schools – 21 junior high schools, 5 high schools, 10 primary schools, 1 universal centre, 2 primary schools, 6 kindergartens and 22 institutions of informal education: 18 pre-kindergarten institutions, 2 music schools, 1 art school, 1 sports school.
In year 2015 high schools in Bezdonys (Polish: Bezdany), Bujwidze (lit. Buivydžiai), Ławaryszki (lit. Lavoriškių), Mickuny (lit. Mickūnai) and Jałówka obtained status of junior high school, others pursuant to the decision of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania have time to change thir status until the end of August 2017.
In the school year of 2014/2015 schooling institutions were educating 10 309 children. Pupils of schools and junior highs constituted 7 622 children. 589 children attended to pre-kindergarten institutions, 2 098 attended to kindergarten. That makes 10 309 children altogether.
4 385 children (42,54%) are of Lithuanian origin, 5 579 (54,12%) – Polish, 345 (3,35%) – Russian.
There were 138 headmasters of schools working in the region. 74 (53,6 %) of them were evaluated for their work, 64 were not. As Ms. Andruszkiewicz said, it is caused partially because a number of school headmasters are young and newly employed.
In year 2014/2015 schools adopted preventive activities to minimalize the percentage of class skipping, tobacco, drugs and alcohol consumption, school violence, physical and emotional abuse. Also, many schools and kindergartens participated in prevention programs. Additionally, Juliusz Słowacki High School in Bezdonys and Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas High School in Maišiagala took part in a popular international violence prevention program „Olweus”. All schools participated in a traditional nationwide „No mockery” (lit. „Be patyčių”) program.
1 424 young people took part in a daytime and foreign summer camps of Vilnius region. 14 980 Euro were destined for this purpose from the local government’s budget. This institution also partially paid for the region’s schools for international competition and camps.
One of the very important aspects of the schools’ activity is providing the right nutrition of children. In the school year of 2014/2015 the local government’s administration of the Vilnius region financed 2 600 pupils. 707 of them participated in daytime summer camps.
In schools of the Vilnius area there are 45 libraries, that possess collection of over 300 thousand books and 4,5 thousand of them is in digital form. The libraries have 235 reading areas, with computers and Internet access. In year 2015 educational institutions were granted altogether 187 000 Euro for the purchase of new textbooks and other means. Schools have now 1890 computers, 1733 of them has access to Internet, 27 schools uses electronic grade books TAMO.
Schools of the Vilnius region successfully participated in various regional, republican and international competitions and contestes. The third place of a junior high school student from Nemėžis, Agnieszka Sobieska in Polish Language Republican Contest.
725 people were taking exams in year 2015 (in 2014 – 744 people, in 2013 – 777 people) from the schools of the Vilnius area. 549 people constituted the senior class graduates.
The greatest number of people took the following exams:
Foreign language (Russian) – 293 students (53,4%)
Lithuanian language and Literature – 287 students (52,3%)
100% students from Vilnius region took exams in Polish language as the mother tongue– 322 people, 16 people took exams from Russian language as the mother tongue.
The highest mark for the exams – 100 points – achieved 13 graduates from the region.
335 graduates enrolled universities. It constitutes 61% of the overall number of graduates.
PATRIOTIC AND CIVIL EDUCATION
To strengthen patriotic spirit of the students in the region, educational institutions organised exhibitions, quizzes, social campaigns to broaden the social awareness. There were events dedicated to 13th January – Defenders of Lithuania Day, 16th February – Reinstating Independence of Lithuania , 11th March – the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania.
Pupils also took part in cleaning action „Darom”.
979 hours were devoted to informal education in the school year of 2014/2015 (in year 2013/2014 – 858,5 h).
In the first term of 2015 there were many cultural and musical festivals and concerts in the region. The most important one – the Festival of Fine Arts of High Schools, Junior Highs and Primary Schools of the Vilnius Region.
In complementary schools in the first term of 2015 there were 848 students – in music school in Niemen River area – 150, Pagirai area music school – 129, Rudamina music school – 207, sports school of the Vilnius region’s local government – 362 students.
It needs to be highlighted that the representation of the sports school won 6 gold, 8 silver and 3 brown medals in international competition during that time.
17 of the school’s alumni were invited to youth and adult representation of Lithuania in biathlon, skiing, athletics, shooting and field hockey.
Educational institutions of the Vilnius region were financed from a short-term grants given by the state („student’s basket”), local government’s budget, EU funds and other sources, in total – 30 690 166 Euro.
„Student’s basket” constituted a bit over 16 mln Euro, local government’s funds – over 11 659 mln Euro, local government’s funds given to investment projects – 1 391 624 Euro.
Local government has 20 minibuses to drive children from farther locations to schools. Only in year 2015, the local government purchased another 5 minibuses. In total, 3392 pupils and 26 disabled persons were driven to schools. For this purpose 666 thousand Euro was granted.
The mayor of the Vilnius region, Maria Rekść (lit. Marija Rekst), who was present at the conference, applied to the headmasters for help: „Not everything depends entirely on the local government. Unfortunately, not all schools will be fully renovated on 1st September. It causes a feeling of unease and fear among the parents and students”. The mayor asked the headmasters of schools and kindergartens to reassure the school communiy and assured that the renovation works will be completed.
The renovation works of the educational institutions in the region are truly a reason to be proud.
In year 2015 many kindergartens and schools were either renovated or modernised. Renovation and reconstruction of kindergartens in Mostiškės and Rukainiai was completed, as well as of kindergarten and school in Medininkai and Rudowsie, St. Urszula Ledóchowska Junior High School in Juodšiliai where a new gym and a canteen were built. Renovation works continue in junior high in Bezdonys, primary schools in Kiwiszki and Šumskas, junior high schools in Avižieniai , Pagiriai and Rukainiai. What is more, before the heating season begins, boiler rooms in junior high schools in Bezdonys and Mickūnai, high school in Medininkai, primary schools in Kiwiszki and Šumskas, kindergarten in Anowil and Niemno river music school will be modernized.
The construction process of a day care/kindergarten in Sudervė, reconstruction of a kindergarten in Riešė and construction of beginner classes of „Verdene” junior high school in Paberžės begin.
In the latest conference, Lilia Andruszkiewicz named the basic goals for the future of academic community in years 2015/2016.
* improvement of the students’ achievements
* strengthening individual learning, giving support to the students when they need it
* increase in the number of students who take part in informal education programs
* continuation of the priorities from years 2014-2015: perfecting the competence of teaching and learning
Translated by Klaudia Chmura within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.