The capital has adopted a new motivational package for teachers

In order to attract new talent to educational institutions and encourage the return of educators who left school for financial reasons, Vilnius has adopted new motivational measures for the capital’s educators.

Newly recruited teachers who have not worked as teachers in the last 12 months or have worked as teachers but did not have the sufficient workload that is common in City of Vilnius can use the following measures developed to encourage teacher recruitment: financial support of EUR 300 per month (before taxes) from the start of work in the facility, but no longer than 12 months; one-off financial support of EUR 3,000 (before taxes) on the condition that the person admitted to the vacant teaching position at school undertakes to work there for at least 1 academic year. Teachers will also be able to use the capital’s public transport free of charge on all weekdays and public holidays.

Back in July, it was decided that from the beginning of the new school year, every new teacher will receive the Vilniečio Kortelė (Vilnius Resident Card) which allows free travel in the capital’s public transport. Unlike last year, by the decision of the Vilnius City Council, teachers will be able to use public transport free of charge on weekends and public holidays from October. Just like last year, all teachers and other employees of the capital’s educational institutions will receive the annual Vilnius Resident Card (Vilniečio Kortelė).

“Teacher salaries in Lithuania do not motivate young graduates to choose work in schools, and the community of educators preparing for retirement is not renewed by new professionals. Our goal is to comprehensively solve the problem of talent shortage,” commented Tomas Gulbinas, Deputy Mayor of Vilnius.

According to Alina Kowalewska, the Chief Advisor of the Vilnius City Administration, the new incentive measures may seem unfair to already working teachers at first, but the most financially difficult situation is that of the new teachers who are not yet receiving higher salaries for their qualifications.

Gabijos gimnazija

Photo by Saulius Žiūra

At the moment, the capital’s educational institutions lack more than 200 teachers of the following subjects: Lithuanian, English, mathematics, primary school teachers, youth workers; there is also a shortage of speech therapists, specialist teachers, psychologists, social workers, and teaching assistants. For the academic year 2023-2024, further growth in demand for Lithuanian and foreign language as well as mathematics teachers is expected.

Vilnius has been investing and paying attention to teachers for the past few years. For example, tailor-made programs “I teach in Vilnius” and “I’m coming back to teach” are organized, mentors are offered for new teachers in the first year of their career, targeted skills development trainings are carried out, and measures are offered to attract managers and strengthen leadership skills.

In the academic year 2020-2021, 58 teachers were trained and recruited by schools or equipped with the necessary skills and qualifications, as follows: 15 teachers with a teaching degree but not working at schools were recruited at schools and given individual support, 5 prospective primary school teachers started their studies under the program “I choose teaching”, 20 already working preschool teachers were supported by the management of their respective institutions in carrying out their studies and acquired the required skills, 18 already working teachers were supported by the management of their respective institutions in carrying out their studies and awarded the necessary teaching qualifications.

For the first time, practical training for teaching assistants was also organized to help them learn how to deal with students with special or different needs.

On the occasion of Teacher’s Day, educational workers were invited to celebrate Teachers’ Week by taking advantage of free offers from various partners, such as free visits to sports clubs, museums, and the use of other discounts.

Teachers of the capital city can boost their emotional health by using a free anonymous mobile app that offers professional help, helps communicate with peers, and provides a search feature for educational content.

The budget required for 2022 to attract new teachers starts at 250 thousand euros. Free public transport tickets for employees of educational institutions for the academic year 2022-2023 will cost 5.5 million euros.