1 Irish President Michael D. Higgins who is on an official visit to Lithuania, marked the beginning of a new significant cooperation with Kaunas City and Lithuania. During the solemn reception at the Kaunas City Hall, three agreements were signed in the field of science and education.

The Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, by formal agreement is launching a partnership with the Irish National University. Hereupon, the Kaunas Teachers Training Center signed a cooperation agreement by establishing business contacts with the Cork Education Support Centre, and concluded a trilateral agreement between the Kaunas Veršvų Gymnasium and the Cork Lithuanian School "Banga". The inspiration and favors of these initiatives is Lithuanian Ambassador to Ireland, Mr. Egidijus Meilūnas.

"The agreements between Irish and Kaunas educational and scientific institutions will undoubtedly contribute to the development of friendly relations," said Visvaldas Matijošaitis, the Mayor of Kaunas.

"The two cooperation agreements are a solid recognition and evaluation of our activities. By caring for the qualification of Kaunas educators, we are constantly striving to improve ourselves. Therefore, by having the direct contact with Irish colleagues we will undoubtedly acquire new experiences, the results of which will also be answered in daily work and in improving the quality of education services we provide," emphasized Rasa Bortkevičienė, director of the Kaunas Teachers Training Center. According to her, the friendship with the Cork City Educational Institutions at Kaunas initiative started last year, and in February this year, the delegation of Kaunas educators, led by the deputy mayor, Dr. Rasa Šnapštienė already attended the first traineeship event. This stay in Ireland laid the foundation for further cooperation in the exchange of good international experience among related organizations. The Lithuanian ambassador to Ireland, Egidijus Meilūnas, contributed significantly to the strengthening of the ties between the states and cities.

These days the leaders of the Irish education and the leaders of the Lithuanian School "Banga" attended the first traineeship event in Kaunas, during which the visits to Kaunas Veršvų Gymnasium, Kaunas Jono and Petro Vileišiai School, Kaunas Panemunė Primary School, Kaunas Teachers Training Center, Kaunas Kindergarten "Aviliukas" and President Valdas Adamkus Gymnasium were organized. The collaboration launched will contribute to greater opportunities for Irish and Lithuanian teachers to learn about the educational systems of the two countries, to share the best practices and to apply these ideas to improve students’ achievements. The goal of the cooperation between Kaunas and Cork educational establishments is mutual improvement of the quality of educational services.

Kaunas has close cultural links with the Galway city of Ireland, which will become the European Capital of Culture in 2020. Kaunas will take over this title in 2022. Thus, in both cases, therefore, preparations are becoming more and more accelerated.

                     

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