VILNIUS – Vilnius plans to set up several hundred in-city learning places and make the Lithuanian capital a big school after winning 1 million US dollars (876,000 euros) along the 14 other winning cities of the 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge, the fifth edition of the worldwide innovation competition that supports and spreads cities’ most promising ideas.
"It was officially announced this morning that we are among the winners. So I would really like to congratulate Vilnius residents. Clearly, education is that area where we need improvement the most to make the future life for all of us better," Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius told the public broadcaster LRT on Tuesday morning.
The idea Vilnius will use the winning funds for is to create an education process resistant to challenges like the coronavirus pandemic.
Vilnius Municipality will seek to change the enrooted attitude that school is a building and will aim at creating education-suitable spaces across the city, Simasius said.
"School is still a building, not a learning process. We want to change that and the idea is that we need many places across the city where teachers could bring their students and have integrated, non-traditional classes," the mayor said, adding that such places could include business premises, art places, parks, streets and institutional spaces.
Vilnius authorities hope to set up around 450 such places over the next three years, with 150 of such places expected by September.
Vilnius Municipality is setting itself a goal of having around 10 percent of classes outside schools once the project is finished.