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Snapshot of Lithuania Education System

The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for managing the education system in Lithuania. The Ministry develops and implements the educational policies and plans. 

Lithuanian Education System Overview

Pre-school Education

The Pre-school education in Lithuania is of 1 year and is provided to children aged 6 or in some cases, to children aged 5. The pre-school education in Lithuania is free and not compulsory to attend. In Lithuania, there are state and non-state pre-schools, full-time and part-time kindergartens, and kindergartens managed by the religious groups. The state pre-schools do not charge any fees; they are funded by the state. The non-state pre-schools charge tuition fees. 

Pre-primary Education

The Pre-primary education in Lithuania is of 1 year and is a non-formal education programme for children aged 6. This level of education prepares children for primary schools. Pre-primary education in Lithuania is not mandatory and free of charge.  This education is imparted by the pre-primary educational institutions, freelancer teachers or general education schools.

Primary Education

Primary education in Lithuania is for children from the age of 6 to 10. This educational level programme lasts for 4 years. Primary education in Lithuania is compulsory and imparted by the primary schools. The primary education develops basic numeracy and literacy skills. The parents have the right to select the primary school for their children. Children living within the territory covered by the school are given the priority.

At this educational level, all the subjects are taught by a single teacher. Some of the subjects such as arts, foreign languages, etc. may be taught by different teachers. 

Curriculum: Comprises of 2 parts;
  • Compulsory subjects
  • Optional non-formal education
Subjects are as follows: Languages, social and natural sciences, moral education, physical education, mathematics, music and arts.

Assessment: Students’ performance at this educational level is assessed by the development of their personality and a criteria-referenced evaluation is used.

Basic Education/Lower Secondary Education

Basic education in Lithuania lasts for 6 years and is for children aged 10 to 16. Students who have passed primary education are eligible for basic education. The basic/lower secondary education provides general numeracy and literacy, and also develops students socially, morally and culturally. This education level also provides elementary knowledge of the technology. 

The lower secondary education is imparted by the basic schools, secondary schools, gymnasiums, vocational education and training schools and youth schools. This educational level comprises of 2 cycles: 
  • Cycle 1: Covers grades 5 to 8
  • Cycle 2: Covers grades 9 and 10 or 1st-2nd forms of the gymnasium
Students aged 12 to 16, who are not able to study at the basic or secondary schools due to some reasons, can go for “youth schools”. Youth schools in Lithuania provide basic education and pre-vocational education and training in grades 6 to 10.

This level prepares students for further education- secondary or vocational education and training. At the end of basic education, a basic education certificate is given to the students who have completed this level.

Curriculum: In the grade 6, foreign language is mandatory to learn. In grade 9, students can select subjects as per their bent and abilities. 

Subjects are as follows: Languages (local and foreign language), natural sciences, moral education, arts, social education that covers psychology, history, economics, geography, entrepreneurship, and civics; mathematics, physical education, life skills, and information technology,

Basic Vocational Education

Vocational schools cover grades 9 to 10 of the basic education. Basic vocational training is being provided. Students who undergo 3 years of training at this level obtain basic education and a qualification; while students who undergo 2 years of training obtain a vocational qualification.

Upper Secondary Education

Upper secondary education in Lithuania is not mandatory and lasts for 2 years.  This educational level is for students aged 16/17 to 19. Students must hold a basic education certificate in order to gain admittance into the upper secondary educational level.

Upper secondary education in Lithuania is provided by secondary schools, gymnasiums, and vocational schools. 
At the end of upper secondary education, students are required to sit for a school leaving examination- Matura. Four subjects are included in the examination- out which Lithuanian language is a mandatory subject and other 3 are selected by the students. 

Curriculum: Covers languages, social education, moral studies, mathematics, information technology, physical education, arts; and natural sciences that include integrated natural science courses, chemistry, biology and physics. 

Assessment: The performance of the students is assessed using a 10-poit grading scale. At the conclusion of each term final grades are given.  

Vocational Education and Training

Vocational education and training are of two types:
  • Initial vocational education and training (IVET): Students aged 14 or above are eligible for IVET in Lithuania. 
  • Continuing vocational education and training (CVET): The CVET is for people who have already obtained vocational qualification.
The vocational education and training programmes vary depending upon the study status of the individuals- individuals who have not gained basic education, individuals who have obtained basic or secondary education, and special education programmes individuals. Vocational education is offered by the state and non-state vocational education and training institutions.

Higher Education

Higher education in Lithuania is imparted by the higher education institutions- Universities and colleges. Students can go for university studies at universities or by non-university studies at the colleges. Universities provide academic studies, while colleges focus more on practical studies.  

The tertiary educational level provides high level knowledge and technology to the students and prepares them for the workplace and for their contribution to the society. It develops them socially, culturally and professionally. 

The universities in Lithuania offer following qualifications:
  • Bachelor degree lasting for 4 years
  • Master’s degree lasting for 1-2 years
  • PhD degree: The duration varies depending upon the field of study. But generally, this qualification lasts for 4-6 years and requires completion of a Master’s degree.
Colleges in Lithuania offers professional bachelor degree programmes that requires 3 years of full-time studies.
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