BDAR
gdpr

Education

Children can take part in pre-school education from birth until they start compulsory pre-primary education at the age of 6.

The main aim of pre-school education is to help a child satisfy inherent, cultural (including ethnic), social and cognitive needs by taking into account each child‘s individuality.

All pre-school education institutions prepare and implement their own pre-school education programmes in compliance with the criteria for the preschool education curriculum approved by the Minister of Education and Science.

Pre-school education can be provided by private, state or municipal kindergartens, school-kindergartens, schools or other institutions, as well as freelance educators or other education providers. Pre-school education in other languages can be acquired at institutions providing pre-school education programmes for ethnic minorities.

4 hours a day (20 hours a week) of pre-school education is funded from the national or municipal budget through the “pupil's voucher” allocation system. Parents only make a financial contribution to cover the cost of meals and learning materials, however municipalities can reduce the fees for families based on their social situation.

 

Pre-primary education is compulsory from age 6 to 7. It’s purpose is to help a child prepare for successful learning according to the primary education curriculum.

Pre-primary education is carried out according to a one-year general pre-primary education curriculum approved by the Minister of Education and Science. It’s content is focused on the development of the child’s general competences – social and health care, knowledge and understanding of the world, communication and artistic expression – through integrated development activities.

Pre-primary education can be provided by private, state or municipal kindergartens, school-kindergartens, schools or other institutions, as well as freelance educators or other education providers. Pre-primary education in other languages can be acquired at institutions providing pre-primary education programmes for ethnic minorities.

4 hours a day (20 hours a week) of pre-primary education is funded from the national or municipal budget through the “pupil's voucher” allocation system. Parents only make a financial contribution to cover the cost of meals and learning materials, however municipalities can reduce the fees for families based on their social situation.

According to the Law on Education, children who have reached seven years of age must attend the 1th form. If a child is sufficiently mature to study under the primary education programme, they can start school earlier upon the parents’ request. 

The duration of the primary education programme is four years. Compulsory primary education can be obtained in kindergarten-schools, in primary schools and, less commonly, in basic or secondary schools. Parents and children can also choose schools of non-traditional education or individual classes/groups in municipal schools. Montessori, Waldorf, Suzuki or Jesuit pedagogical systems can be selected in Lithuania.

Achievements and progress of pupils in the 1st-4th forms are not assessed with marks. Assessment is based on the idiographic principle, i.e. the individual child’s progress made with regard to their personality is assessed and criteria-referenced assessment is applied. 

Children who attend schools for national minorities start learning Lithuanian (official language) from the 2nd form.

The lower secondary education starts from the 5th form and continues for 6 years until the 10th form. Lower secondary education is mainly provided by pro-gymnasiums, in some cases also by gymnasiums or basic schools; from the 9th form it could be implemented by vocational schools in combination with vocational training programme. In Lithuania, education is compulsory for pupils until they reach 16 years. Compulsory education is usually provided up to the 10th form. 

Lithuanian is the language of instruction in most schools except for national minority schools, where language of instruction is that of the national minority - Belarusian, Polish, Russian or German. In some national minority schools bilingual education is implemented.  
Lower secondary education curriculum is approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. It involves 8 subject groups: ethical education, languages, mathematics, technologies, arts, natural sciences, social sciences, health and physical education. The implementation of National Curriculum is regulated by the General Education Plan approved by the Minister. It outlines the scope, time and main principles of curriculum implementation. On completion of the 10th form, pupils take the Lower Secondary Achievement Test in the Lithuanian language and mathematics; for pupils from national minority schools the native language (Belarusian, Polish, Russian or German) test is compulsory. 
 

Upper secondary education is not mandatory and lasts for two final years, the11th  and 12th forms. It is provided by gymnasiums, as well as vocational schools, in combination with vocational training programme.

Upper secondary education curriculum is approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. It includes 8 subject groups, at least one subject from each group is compulsory to pupils. School may also offer additional optional courses and modules. The implementation of National Curriculum is regulated by the General Education Plan approved by the Minister. It outlines the scope, time and main principles of curriculum implementation.

Lithuanian is the language of instruction in most schools except for national minority schools, where language of instruction is that of the national minority - Belarusian, Polish, Russian or German. In some national minority schools bilingual education is implemented.

At the end of upper secondary education, pupils are required to take matriculation examinations. The Lithuanian language examination is compulsory for all pupils. At least two matriculation examinations or one examination and matriculation project should be passed, in order to be awarded the secondary education diploma.  To access higher education at least three matriculation examinations are necessary.

Pupils who come from foreign countries are accepted into municipality schools across Lithuania.

There is a special adaptation period, which lasts for up to one year, during which pupils are provided the Lithuanian language training, as well as other educational support, including psychological and other learning support. After the adaptation period, pupils are integrated into general schools and continue education together with their peers.
 

It is considered that a child with special educational needs should be educated where his or her educational needs and educational assistance needs are best met. The decision on the choice of educational institution is made by parents, taking into account the recommendations of the pedagogical psychological service.

Starting from 1st September 2024, children with disabilities and special educational needs will be able to attend the nearest general school at their place of residence, and will be admitted on an equal footing with other students. The amendments to the Law on Education enact equal participation in education for persons with different abilities and educational needs, implementing the principle of inclusion in education.

The majority of pupils with special educational needs are educated at general education schools together with their peers through inclusive education. General education, vocational education and training, and other programs are adapted to pupils with special educational needs. Pupils with special educational needs can complete formal education programmes in a shorter or longer time than specified, they can study intermittently, and these programmes can be completed in separate modules. Pupils with extensive special educational needs can study at designated general education schools up to 21 years of age (in special cases – up to 23 years of age).
 

At the end of upper secondary education, pupils are required to take matriculation examinations.

The Lithuanian language examination is compulsory for all pupils.

At least two matriculation examinations or one examination and matriculation project should be passed, in order to be awarded the secondary education diploma.  To access higher education at least three matriculation examinations are necessary. 

The main priority for vocational education and training (VET) is to become an attractive and highly valued part of education and lifelong learning. VET programmes are designed for learners of different ages and educational backgrounds.

The vocational education and training (VET) system in Lithuania covers initial (IVET) and continuing (CVET) vocational education and training. Initial VET (IVET) offers learners opportunities to acquire the first qualification. Continuing VET (CVET) is designed for learners who seek to improve a qualification they already have, acquire a new one or gain a competence needed to do specific jobs (perform functions) as specified in regulations. 

The Ministry of Education, Science and Sport is responsible for shaping and implementing VET policy. 

There are 65 public and 2 private VET institutions in Lithuania attended by over 45,000 students. These institutions are restructured as self-governing institutions in order to attract businesses into their management and to bring VET closer to labour market demands. Social partners have the right to initiate new qualifications, standards and VET programmes. 

Since 2003, competence assessment has been detached from the training process and since 2012 it has been carried out by accredited institutions. Social partners, enterprises and employers' associations may apply for accreditation. Employer representatives participate in designing and assessing VET programmes according to labour market needs. They are also involved in organizing training and may participate in the management of VET institutions and become their shareholders. Currently, social partners, enterprises and municipal authorities participate directly in managing self-governing IVET providers, which comprise a quarter of all VET institutions.

Vocational schools provide both training leading to a qualification, as well as basic or secondary education. The duration of programmes can be either two or three years, depending on whether it is intended to provide basic or secondary education, or adapted to persons with special needs. The duration of studies for students who have already acquired secondary education is 1 to 2 years. Requirements for vocational education and training programmes are set out by the General Requirements and Vocational Education and Training Standards of the Ministry. Vocational education and training programmes are developed by VET providers in cooperation with employers.

The VET programme consists of two parts. The first part applies to all schools in the country and defines the fields of professional activities, competences, teaching goals, and assessment provisions. The second part is optional and covers teaching methods, subject programmes, teaching aids, etc. The programme must include Entrepreneurship, Civil Protection, Ecology, Information Technologies, and Foreign Language for Specific Purposes as subjects or modules.

Although VET in Lithuania is school-based, practical training and training in enterprises are a major part of VET. In IVET, practical training comprises 60 to 70 percent of the total time allocated to vocational subjects, of which 8 to 15 weeks is organized in a company or a school-based practical training facilities  simulating working conditions. Enhancing the implementation of apprenticeship is considered a national priority and relevant policy initiatives are in progress.

Formal CVET is designed for people with different education attainment levels, from primary to post-secondary; in some cases, a vocational qualification or work experience is a prerequisite. Programmes last no longer than one year and lead to a vocational qualification at EQF levels 1-3, recognized by the state. Practical training comprises 60-80% of the programme, half of it preferably taking place at an enterprise. Formal CVET for unemployed and those notified of dismissal is funded by a voucher system, which allows the unemployed to choose the training provider. The provision of training is based on contracts between the local public employment service, the unemployed and, if applicable, the enterprise. After training, the employer undertakes to employ the person for at least six months.
The final assessment of qualifications is an independent process performed by accredited competences assessment institutions.

Having completed the vocational education programme and passed examinations, students obtain a vocational qualification. Students who have completed their secondary education can continue their studies at colleges or universities. Successful graduates as well as graduates who have work experience according to their qualification receive additional points when entering higher education institutions.

In order to improve accessibility and quality of practical training, 42 sectoral practical training centers for relevant branches of industry at 33 VET institutions were established using aid from EU Structural Funds. These centers are being used not only by students of VET institutions, but also by students of universities and colleges. Well-equipped practical training facilities are open to everyone who is seeking to enhance or acquire a profession.

The sectoral practical training centre is a VET institution or a division providing initial and continuing vocational education and training services to all residents of Lithuania and equipped with modern practical training facilities for one or several branches of industry.
 

Non-formal education of children is a supplement to the formal education system in Lithuania. After school hours, pupils can freely choose various non-formal education activities which are provided in general schools. Most of these activities are free of charge or paid from the pupil‘s educational voucher which was established in 2015.

Pupils can also attend classes at various non-formal education schools, such as sports, music, fine arts or art schools, leisure centers or children’s clubs. Classes are partially subsidized and fees are determined by the founder. 

Starting from 2021, special non-formal STEAM initiative has been launched for children to be ableto participate in various activities related to STEAM disciplines. 
 

Last updated: 22-12-2021