The project kick-off conference “Multilingual kindergartens: challenges and solutions”
The kick-off conference was held in the Chambers Hall of the Ministry of Education and Science on 30 May, 2016. The conference aimed at presenting the project and current challenges and opportunities in the area of multcultural education at pre-school level. The participants were warmly welcomed by Vice-minister Genoveita Krasauskienė, followed by Norwegian Ambassador J. E. Dag Malmer Halvorsen, who addressed the audience in perfect Lithuanian. The project is carried out under the “EEA Grants” programme with Norway being one of the financial contributors. The Norwegian partners from Bergen University College joined the conference via the video facilities.
Audronė Auškelienė, the Public Service Language Centre director and project manager, presented the aims and objectives, as well as projec activities and expected results. The Ministry of Education and Science specialists - Onutė Čepulėnienė and Laimutė Jankauskienė – spoke about the importance of multicultural education in the modern society, focusing on some specific features of early education. Prof. Ilona Klanienė and prof. Rasa Braslauskienė, both from Klaipeda University, shared their insights into the pedagogical competences needed for working in the multicultural environment. Vaida Stupurienė and Sandra Valantiejienė, researchers at the National Centre for Special Needs Education and Psychology, highlighted the peculiarities of educational support in multilingual kindergartens.
After a short break, Džiuginta Baraldsnes and Alicja Renata Sadownik from Bergen University College shared the experience of Norwegian kindergartens in multicultural education; they also answered the particiants‘ questions. The following round-table discussion involved administrators and pedagogues of Lithuanian kindergartens, early education specialists, representatives of the Lithuanian Language teachers‘ association and teacher traning institutions, members of educational community.
The project team urged the participants to collaborate and share good practice in order to achieve the set goals in developing methods of multicultural education at pre-school and pre-primary level.