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Klaipeda Schools to Offer International Baccalaureate Programs
Klaipeda is about to join Vilnius and Kaunas and become the third major Lithuanian city to offer its students the ability to study in the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Two private schools, Klaipedos licejus (Klaipeda Lyceum) and “Universa Via” are to be licenced for International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. They currently have candidate status and expect to start the actual programs in 2019 (“Universa Via”) and 2020 (Lyceum). Although the programs won’t be coming on line until next year and the year after, teachers are already being trained and facilities updated to meet the exacting standards of the program. Moreover, so that the schools are fully prepared for the new courses, English is to be integrated into the teaching of a number of core subjects from this September.
This is exciting news for Klaipeda, as the lack of internationally accredited education programs at school level in the city was identified as a strategic weakness in the city’s “Klaipeda 2030.”
Assoc. prof. Regina Kontautiene, Principal of Klaipeda Lyceum believes the incorporation of the IB program has been a natural yet valuable progression for her school: “Our school has already been teaching a curriculum in English for 15 years as there is a demand for this because of the very nature of the city and its expat and international community. The major advantage of IB, however, is that it is easier for students to adapt when they move between education systems to another country. The major challenge is to pick up where the student left off, and with IB, there is no issue with that.”
But it is not only the students of these programs that will benefit, the introduction of these IB programs will also deliver huge value to the profile of Klaipeda as a destination for foreign investment.
As Eimantas Kiudulas, CEO at Klaipeda FEZ Management explains:
“When companies and their management are considering selecting Klaipeda for their business, one of the first questions they ask us is ‘so what is going to happen with the families of our employees?’. International education is especially important for families with children at high school age. Klaipeda FEZ was one of the first institutions to raise the question of international education about 6 years ago and discuss it with the city authorities and school representatives. We are extremely happy that what is increasingly becoming a necessity for foreign investors will soon be something that Klaipeda is able to deliver.”
Klaipeda FEZ is strongly committed to improving the educational opportunities within the city, so much so that outside of promoting the introduction of international programs, it is also trying to encourage the city to create a new kindergarten within the FEZ environs.