Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite was at the Sholom Aleichem ORT School in Vilnius this week to celebrate the skill and hard work of educators.
President Grybauskaite is the school’s latest high profile visitor: Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius attended the formal opening at its new premises in March together with the city’s mayor, Arturas Zuokas, and Vice Minister of Education Svetlana Kauzoniene.
On what was United Nations’ World Teachers Day, the President noted that the ORT school was one of the best in the country and renowned for the way it was preparing young people in science and technology. This year, Teachers’ Day coincided with the school’s celebration of Simchat Torah and was similarly joyful in recognising the pivotal importance of classroom educators in creating success.
“The teacher’s mission is an important one that is respected in every nation,” the President told Sholom Aleichem’s educators. “By sharing their knowledge, experience and wisdom with the younger generation, teachers help them understand the world.” Sholom Aleichem Principal Misha Yakobas paid tribute to his staff in an interview with local media.
“I am grateful to my teachers for their hard work and their good results. Indeed, teachers should be revered because of the role they play in raising our children,” he said. “But I am not only happy and proud of our teachers – there are also the technical staff, heads of department, administrators and others all of whom deserve respect for their contribution to creating what is a beautiful school.”
Since moving into its new city centre premises, which have been fully refurbished thanks to cooperation between the local Jewish community, the city municipality and World ORT, the school has increased its capacity to more than 350 students, who learn computer programming, robotics and graphic design in addition to the national curriculum and Jewish subjects.
The school works with the Ministry of Education and other education bodies such as the Institute of Teacher Training, the Exam Centre of Lithuania, and the Pedagogical University of Lithuania. And its teachers train peers from across the city in the use of interactive whiteboards and computerised data loggers. It also has a Tolerance Centre which familiarizes children from other schools with Jewish traditions and culture, and gives presentations on tolerance to other schools in the city.