Incentives offered by Vilnius have already attracted nearly 200 new teachers to schools

Photo by Saulius Ziura

The capital city stepped into the new school year offering an innovation – cash incentives to attract talents to schools. And the idea worked out – by the end of October, 190 new teachers joined 90 educational institutions in Vilnius. Sholom Aleichem Gymnasium, Viršuliškės School, Emilija Pliaterytė Progymnasium and Naujininkai Progymnasium were among the most common choices.

“The growing shortage of teachers in the country’s schools has been evident for a few years now. Seeing that this problem is still barely solved at the national level, Vilnius decided to look for ways to attract teachers to the capital’s educational institutions on its own, providing financial support to those who have returned to schools or started working there after graduation, possibly having given up their better-paid but less heart-warming jobs. Although we only offered the incentive at the beginning of the school year, the results are already encouraging,” says Remigijus Šimašius, the Mayor of Vilnius.

Of the newly recruited teachers, 92.6% chose monthly allowances of EUR 300 (before tax), while 7.4% opted for a one-time payment of EUR 3 000 (before tax). 55.2% of the attracted teachers work for 0.5 to 1 FTE, 34.2% opted for more than 1 FTE and 10.5% chose less than 0.5 FTE. 35 new teachers started working in pre-school education institutions and 155 – in schools.

To qualify for the material support, an applicant must not have worked as a teacher in the last 12 months, or must have worked as a teacher in an educational institution outside of Vilnius municipality.

The problem of shortage of teachers has also been addressed by funding studies for pedagogical qualifications and the necessary competences for existing teachers and teachers to be.

“According to the available data, there currently are around 250 teachers of retirement age in Vilnius, and this number will grow by more than a hundred every autumn. The shortage of teachers is the most serious educational challenge in the capital city, and the funding of pedagogical studies is one way to address it. It is encouraging to see that we have received a lot of applications and that the city is committing the necessary resources for that”, Unė Kaunaitė, Head of EDU Vilnius, told about the initiative.

This year, as part of the “Mokau Vilniuje” (English: I Teach in Vilnius) programme, people holding a higher education degree were invited to apply for free teacher vocational and other modules at Lithuanian higher education institutions. A record number of 560 applications were received, 172 students were selected and started studying. Last year, the City of Vilnius funded studies of 40 of such applicants.

The City of Vilnius will provide a total of more than half a million euros to fund these studies. More than 60 students will be qualified as teachers and another 40 students will acquire competences in pre-school education. A similar number of specialists will be able to work in the field of special pedagogy, and about 20 – as primary education specialists. A few new specialists will be recruited in the fields of social pedagogy, English language, mathematics and speech therapy.

Having completed their studies, specialists will be required to work for at least two years in an institution in Vilnius in line with the completed study programme. Funding is available for studies at Vilnius University of Applied Sciences, Mykolas Romeris University, Šiauliai Academy of Vilnius University and Academy of Education of Vytautas Magnus University.

Marketing and Communication Department,