State and municipalities allocate record funds to purchase digital teaching tools and improve teachers’ competences


2023 01 17


Tens of millions of euros have been invested in digital teaching tools and the digitisation of education in Lithuania. The state and municipalities are providing funds to schools which will also be funded through the EdTech project for digital transformation of education and the Millennium Schools’ programme.

Modern advanced education is unthinkable without digital tools, which make teaching easier and more varied. The need for digital educational tools has particularly increased during the pandemic. Although it is over and pupils are back in the classroom, funding for digital tools continues to grow.

The Digital Transformation of Education project launched

The Digital Transformation of Education project, implemented by the newly established EdTech Centre of the National Agency for Education, was launched last year. The total value of the project is EUR 33.5 million.

The project focuses on the development of digital teaching tools, the improvement of digital competences and the digitisation of higher education studies. It plans to develop, test and deploy prototypes for distance, blended and hybrid education, and to work with schools, innovators and IT companies to develop innovative solutions to meet the updated curriculum framework.

The digitisation of higher education subjects, modules and assignments in Lithuanian and English and the introduction of a digital learning resource base for general education schools are also included in the future plans. The project will also provide schools with equipment for hybrid teaching.

The Millennium Schools’ programme to provide digital tools

The Millennium Schools’ programme is also focusing on this area. Municipalities can include their preferred digital tools in their progress plans, and schools participating in the Millennium Schools’ programme can be equipped with software for physics, chemistry, robotics laboratories and biology experiments. These tools are designed to promote STEAM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics). Schools can also upgrade laptops, install wireless internet access points, purchase SMART interactive whiteboards, games, 3D screens, printers, document cameras, virtual reality kits or systems, set up IT classrooms, and purchase a range of teaching applications and licences. Preliminary estimates suggest that the progress plans of 22 municipalities participating in the first stream of the programme alone foresee more than EUR 6 million for such investments.

Investing in STEAM centres

While implementing the project funded from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), EUR 14 million will be invested to strengthen the ecosystem of STEAM open access centres.

Part of this funding will go towards strengthening robotics and IT laboratories, as well as the development of relevant mobile laboratory equipment packages.

The pandemic has accelerated the development of digital education and funding continues

In response to the pandemic and in order to ensure distance education under lockdown conditions, a temporary instrument intended to finance the development of digital education has been introduced. The pandemic emergency has ended, but funding under this instrument has continued as the provision of digital teaching tools remains an issue.

In 2021, schools spent EUR 3.7 million on the purchase of digital teaching tools. EUR 3.4 million has been allocated from the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport for digitisation in 2023.

The national development body “Investicijų ir verslo garantijos” (INVEGA) also provides funding to businesses at different stages of maturity and operating in different areas, including businesses developing educational innovations. This is done with funding from the state and the European Union Structural Funds.

Municipalities are also taking care of digital tools

As the owners of the majority of schools in Lithuania, municipalities are responsible for organising and equipping schools. Thus, municipalities also plan and allocate funds for digital tools. For example, Kaunas City Municipality systematically allocates additional funds each year for digital development and tools for educational institutions, as equipment becomes outdated and new tools are needed to implement updated educational content.

In 2021, EUR 394 000 (EUR 330 000 in 2022) were allocated from the Kaunas City Municipality budget. In QIV 2021, the municipality also allocated additional reserve funds of EUR 177 000. Schools used this money to equip hybrid classrooms, buy computers, tablets and other tools. The municipal budget for 2023 foresees up to EUR 14 per pupil for the purchase of IT goods and services in pre-school education institutions, up to EUR 7 per pupil in general education schools, and up to EUR 3 per pupil in non-formal education institutions. In pre-school education institutions implementing the pre-primary curriculum, funds have been allocated for the purchase of smart screens.

Vilnius City Municipality also allocates funds each year to schools, which decide how to use the money, e.g. for the purchase of IT equipment. The total allocation is almost EUR 4 million, which is distributed to schools in proportion to the number of pupils. Moreover, Vilnius City Municipality also allocates additional funds for the purchase of licences for the Vyturys and Eduten platforms.