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Gdynia – a Learning City

Gdynia, as the only city in Poland,is a member of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Its goal is to promote thedevelopment of formal and informal education for all the city inhabitants at every stage of life. On the International Day of Education, the representatives of Gdynia institutions were discussing how to instill a mindset of lifelong learning in the daily experience of the city dwellers.

Gdynia was admitted into the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities in 2019. This organization was established in 2015, and at present it has 225 member cities from 53 countries from all the continents. The central idea for the GNLC members is the development of both formal and informal education in their respective cities, which will foster lifelong learning for all the city residents. The mayor of the City of Gdynia, Wojciech Szczurek, created a team which includes representives from various institutions involved in developing a broad-spectrum educational and cultural package for the city, whose task it is to develop methods of lifelong learning in Gdynia – the Learning City.

“Our task is to reinforce the lifelong learning themes within the various city policies,” explains Deputy Mayor Michał Guć, the Head of the team responsible for the implementation of the learning city idea. “We can offer a wide-ranging package of educational activities directed at all resident groups. This package is offered not only by the city institutions, but also by the non-government organizations. Thanks to the work of this team we will be able to broaden the package, so that it reflects the residents’ expectations to an even larger extent. I am convinced that the implementation of the ideas that we have developed will encourage Gdynia residents to broaden their knowledge and continue their education.”

The local municipal government has many institutions which are responsible for preparing a broad-spectrum educational package for the residents. They include the following: the Laboratory of Social Innovations, Senior Citizen Activity Centre, Culture Department at the Gdynia City Council, Education Department at the Gdynia City Council, Gdynia Library, ‘Experyment’ Science Centre, ‘Gdynia Rodzinna’ Family Centre, Gdynia Sports Centre. Representatives of these bodies and institutions met, in order to consider all the relevant options available in the city.

“We hope that we can thoroughly study the target group, identify any deficiences, pinpoint the groups that we, as the city should pay more attention to, and evaluate access to informal education in all of our city sectors,” said Maja Wagner, Head of Culture Department at the Gdynia City Council.

photo: UM Gdynia/Aleksander Trafas