Erudito licėjaus komanda konferencijoje Švietimo kodas
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The largest educational conference in Lithuania, ‘Švietimo kodas’: what future awaits us all and how innovations will change education

On March 1st, in Kaunas, according to the event host Rytis Zemkauskas, the most important people in Lithuania gathered – teachers, education leaders, educators, other education professionals, and representatives from various professions interested in education. The first and largest educational forum of this kind in Lithuania, “Education Code”, took place at Vytautas Magnus University, where about 80 speakers and participants delivered presentations and took part in discussions. The conference was crowned with the awards ceremony for the “Lithuanian Teacher 2024” competition.

The largest and most diverse forum received exceptional interest from the education community – over 1000 participants registered for the conference in just three weeks. The forum brought together entrepreneurs, scientists, managers, education leaders to share their insights on the education situation, necessary changes, and how everyone can contribute to it. Remote greetings at the forum, engaging in dialogue between business, science, and political representatives, were enjoyed by the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda. The four education forum halls hosted not only expert presentations but also discussions among education leaders.

The Erudito Licėjus, a partner and sponsor of the event, also participated in this grand educational event. “We are partners of this event because we believe that such initiatives contribute to the progress of education in Lithuania. Erudito Licėjus and I personally contribute significantly to educational change by sharing our experiences and educational outcomes. Therefore, we actively participate in activities and initiatives related to educational topics and promoting the implementation of educational innovations,” says Assoc. Prof. Nerijus Pačėsa, founder and director of Erudito Licėjus.

Education Leadership: There is no single answer

The conference extensively discussed the importance and role of education leadership. The leader of Erudito Licėjus participated in the discussion “Manager or Leader – what does an educational institution need more?” In it, the director spoke about the necessity of authenticity, ambition, and the search for the uniqueness of an educational institution, the importance of positive leadership accompanied by ambition and vision.

“The greatest achievement of a leader is to become a leader who has a supporting team and is able to constantly improve,” said Dr. Nerijus Pačėsa during the discussion. According to him, continuous improvement is a sign of a healthy organization. As the most important leader qualities, the director mentioned courage, the ability to act in conditions of uncertainty, which will only increase, and tolerance for risk: “A leader does not live for today, he lives for the future. We all project our visions into the future. I believe that in the future, we will need braver leaders because the future will become less predictable.”

All education leaders and managers participating in the discussion (Jurgita Ablėnė, director of Panevėžys kindergarten “Žvaigždutė”; Linas Janulionis, director of Fabijoniškės Gymnasium (one of the youngest in Lithuania); Rolandas Kučiauskas, director of VDU Ugnė Karvelis Gymnasium; Miša Jakobas, longtime educator who has been leading Vilnius Šalomo Aleichem ORT Gymnasium for three decades) agree that being a leader is not easy and that there is a great shortage of leaders in today’s world. However, the role of education is crucial in developing leadership.

In her presentation “We wanted to do better, we succeeded… So what’s next?” Prof. Inga Minelgaitė also touched on the topic of education leadership. According to her, everyone imagines education leadership differently. Artificial intelligence will greatly change competencies, so one of the main competencies of a future leader will be to act without knowing. And although artificial intelligence will change some competencies, it must go hand in hand with critical thinking and human intelligence.

At the end of the discussion “How to work without textbooks?” one of the moderators, Daiva Jankauskienė, gave an example that future schoolchildren see robots in the school, but they would never agree to give up teachers (“what will we hug?” they rhetorically ask).

Sharing Good Experience

Several representatives from Erudito Licėjus also participated in the discussions: Jurgita Makuškaitė, an International Baccalaureate biology teacher, was invited to share her international educational experience in the discussion “Look and Take with You.” According to Jurgita, the greatest distinction of international programs is the focus on developing practical skills and fostering critical thinking, as well as sharing internal resources.

Teacher J. Makuškaitė began her pedagogical career abroad – she studied in the United Kingdom at Middlesex University, where she obtained the status of a qualified teacher and taught biology, physics, and chemistry for several years in secondary schools in London, gaining invaluable experience in the international education system.

Religious education teacher Justinas Visickas participated in the discussion “I Want to be a Teacher LIKE THAT, Could I?” According to Justinas, participating in the conference was beneficial and interesting, although there was not enough time to listen to other presentations. By the way, two of J. Visickas’s former students specifically came to the conference to listen to him.

The topic of education without textbooks was moderated by Rūta Gudynienė and Daiva Jankauskienė from Kaunas Erudito Licėjus. They moderated a discussion on whether modern technologies can replace traditional textbooks. According to them, the discussion was very useful, and the speakers were very interesting. Many of them confirmed that they already use artificial intelligence to prepare for lessons and brainstorm activity ideas, but they creatively interpret the received content.

The Foundation of the Education System and Mission is Changing

The largest education conference in Lithuania discussed current issues in Lithuanian education and the future of education in general, considering how innovations will change education.

In the Innovation Hall, the founder and director of Erudito Licėjus, Dr. Nerijus Pačėsa, presented a paper titled “How to Adapt to Artificial Intelligence.” “That day has come,” – speaking about the greatest innovation in education – the advent of artificial intelligence in various areas of life, including education, said Dr. N. Pačėsa.

Naturally, new phenomena evoke fear and lack of trust: after all, cars once instilled inexplicable fear, and people were reluctant to give up traditional horse-drawn carriages. Embracing artificial intelligence in the educational process, according to N. Pačėsa, it is important to better understand the principles of artificial intelligence operation and apply and experiment with them.

In his presentation on the meaning and philosophy of education in the new age, entrepreneur and investor Ilja Laursas emphasized that the foundational education system and mission are fundamentally changing: education creates a new person, and the importance of soft skills will continue to grow. According to I. Laursas, competencies will no longer be as important; the focus will shift to personal qualities, competencies, and skills. Thus, the content and learning plan will become personalized, the arrival of artificial intelligence in the education system, and new educational technologies and learning platforms in the near future will create new learning conditions: I. Laursas predicts that virtual reality will become as real as laptops over the next five years, and personal children’s tutors will become AI assistants with distributed characteristics – infinite patience and knowledge.

A new emerging philosophy – gamification – will allow for professional and engaging content, learning through play, thus increasing learning efficiency. Therefore, the concept of schools themselves will change: they will become a kind of platform, no longer just broadcasters of knowledge.

According to a futurist, the need for meta-learning will grow – inevitably, the role of the teacher will also change: they will have to become charismatic guides and coaches, able to motivate and inspire as role models with charisma.

The thoughts of Gintautas Jakštas, Minister of Education, Science, and Sports, about the future school complement the considerations about the future of education: the minister is convinced that the importance of competent individuals will remain, and it is becoming increasingly important for schools to act as communities – parents are increasingly involved in the educational process.

Celebrating the Radiance of Education Luminaries: Teacher Awards of the Year

Today, the future of education is shaped by teachers and education leaders. The Lithuanian Education Forum was filled with discussions and conversations about the prestige and reality of the teaching profession, the role of teachers, their shortage in cities and (especially) regions, the path and choices of teachers, teacher burnout, and similar relevant topics.

The conference was crowned, according to Tautvydas Mikalajūnas, the chief editor of the portal, with the “cherry on top” – the award ceremony of the “Lithuanian Teacher 2024” competition organized by the portal This year, it garnered record interest: 412 teachers were nominated, and more than 370 thousand readers voted for them.

“Teachers are the main participants in the transformation of education, so it is important that they boldly take initiatives, apply advanced methods, develop their own, and grow as educational professionals,” says Assoc. Prof. Dr. N. Pačėsa. “This event is one of the important moments when we can notice and celebrate colleagues who demonstrate their professionalism and share it with others.”

In the grand evening, for their exceptional efforts and dedication to the teaching profession, professionals in nine categories were announced, honored, and awarded: Dalia Tumėnienė, a preschool education teacher (Kaunas kindergarten “Linelis”), Rita Kybartienė, a primary education teacher (Kaunas Viktoras Kuprevičius Gymnasium), Mantas Karanauskas, a secondary education (gymnasium) teacher (Vilnius Balsiai Gymnasium, North Lyceum (the teacher has also worked at “Erudito” lyceum)), Regina Aužbikavičienė, a secondary education (high school) teacher (Rietavas Laurynas Ivinskis Gymnasium), Ona Ivanauskienė, a non-formal education teacher (Panevėžys Beržai Gymnasium), educational support specialist Rūtenis Latoža (Klaipėda Vytės Gymnasium), vocational education teacher Aurimas Spiridonovas (Vilnius Automotive and Business School), and education leader Asta Tamušauskaitė (Kaunas kindergarten “Linelis”).

The winner of the education leader nomination, Asta Tamušauskaitė, was congratulated by the founder and director of Erudito Licėjus, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nerijus Pačėsa.

“Today is a wonderful celebration of education, where we heard numerous great ideas, thoughts, experiences, beautiful insights, and felt a lot of positivity and light, so I want to thank the organizers for this wonderful celebration for educators, all participants, and for the opportunity to stop and celebrate the radiance of education luminaries,” said the head of Erudito Licėjus in his nomination.

In presenting the nomination, he wished everyone thought leadership: “Everything starts with a thought. Bold and easy, it soars high,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. N. Pačėsa.

After the Conference: Moving in the Right Direction

After the event, the founder and director of Erudito Licėjus remarked: “Such conferences were greatly lacking in Lithuania. It is very heartening to see the light in the participants’ eyes, their understanding and knowledge that we need to change. What left the biggest impression was that the conference was very diverse; educators from all over Lithuania attended it – this means that there is sincere interest in the topics being analyzed here. We have wonderful people making changes in education, knowing how we need to change, and doing it. There were wonderful presentations and discussions about how teachers are looking for opportunities to integrate technologies and artificial intelligence into their activities, how they find a balance between digital technologies. This event instilled a sense of confidence that education in Lithuania is moving in the right direction.”

The head of Erudito Licėjus expressed pride that the teachers of Erudito Licėjus professionally represent the philosophy of the educational institution, calling it the highest appreciation: “We show that we believe in what we do, sincerely share it with others as a good example. Our teachers’ professionalism and ability to moderate and participate in discussions are impressive, allowing us to see our teachers in a different light.”

According to the leader, such a conference provides mutual benefit: teachers, in turn, see that they are important participants in the transformation of education: “It’s great that conference participants had the opportunity to enrich each other by listening to presentations and participating in discussions on current issues in education. This is the greatest motivation and reinforcement to continue moving forward and changing education,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. N. Pačėsa.

Gintarė Aldonytė, the Head of the Vilnius branch, said she was participating for the first time in such a large-scale event organized by her former alma mater, and its results exceeded expectations: “Today was a very positive day. The discussions were very surprising, with teachers from various cities and schools participating, and some of our teachers also participated. We usually think that there are many challenges in education, but today the vector remained very positive while listening to teachers, as they talked about the child, personalized learning, and emphasized the diversity of resources. I think I will return to these presentations and discussions more than once. I am ready to participate in this conference again next year,” said G. Aldonytė, the Head of the Vilnius branch of Erudito Licėjus.

Greta Lukošiūtė, the deputy director for preschool and primary education, carefully listened to presentations and discussions about the use of artificial intelligence in the educational process: “Probably the main topic was artificial intelligence; we talk a lot about it and devote a lot of time to it in our school. It’s good that the whole education system, education people, talk about it, it’s good to understand that we are on the right path.”

Seconding the discussion moderators R. Gudynienė and D. Jankauskienė, G. Lukošiūtė emphasized that this discussion was a reflection of what is declared in Erudito Licėjus: “Working according to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB PYP), which our school is a candidate for, and planning resources for the coming school years, we touch upon this discussion in our internal meetings as well. The main idea that I heard in the discussion and which we strongly support is not to limit ourselves to one thing: one textbook, one program. I’m glad that we encourage diversity and the opportunity to choose. I think teachers appreciate this and are happy about it.”

Positive experiences, enthusiasm, and confidence from this conference were also taken away by teachers. “I will take home confidence and enthusiasm and the belief that the Lithuanian education system is growing, transforming, using practices from other countries to educate young people,” said J. Makuškaitė, an IB Biology teacher at Erudito Licėjus who participated in the conference and discussion about European education systems.