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The Lithuania K-12 Education System

The K-12 education system of Lithuania encompasses pre-school, pre-primary, basic/lower and upper secondary education. The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Lithuania administers the K-12 education system. 

Lithuanian K-12 Education System

Pre-school Education

The pre-school education in Lithuania is not compulsory and is a kind of non-formal education. This education is provided upon the request of the parents. 
  • Ages: 5 or 6
Pre-school education in Lithuania is offered by general education schools, state and non-state pre-schools, licensed freelance teachers or other educational providers. In Lithuania, there are municipality, state and private pre-schools. These pre-schools prepare children for further studies. 

Children are accepted in the municipality and state pre-schools in Lithuania on the basis of their residence. Children residing within the territory of the school are admitted. 

Funding: The pre-school education in municipal and state pre-schools is financed by the municipality and state budget respectively. Parents just pay for the meals of the children. Though a few of the municipality pre-schools charge some amount of tuition fee. 
The private or non-state pre-schools charge tuition fee. 

The curriculum, tuition fees and its payment means are decided by the individual pre-schools in Lithuania.

Types of Pre-schools in Lithuania

Nurseries-kindergartens 
  •  Ages: 1 to 6(7) 
Kindergartens
  • Ages: 3 to 6

Pre-school Education Providers

General Education Schools: Following are the general education schools that impart pre-school education:
Schools-kindergartens: This type of general education school provides pre-school education along with the formal primary school education.

Multifunctional education centres: This type of general education schools offer pre-school studies along with formal general education and primary education.

Children with Special Needs

Children with special needs can also attend pre-schools. In Lithuania, there are special kindergartens, education centres and sanatorium kindergartens that provide pre-school education to such children.
Following are the Special Education Institutions in Lithuania- State and Municipality: 
  • Nursery-Kindergarten "Giliukas" (Klaipėda)
  • Kaunas Sanatorium Kindergarten "Pusynėlis"
  • Siauliai Sanatorium Nursery-Kindergarten "Puselė"
  • Lithuanian Preschool Centre for the Hearing Impaired (Vilnius)
  • Vision Centre "Linelis" of Panevėzys City
  • Kaunas Sanatorium Kindergarten "Pienė"
  • Vision Centre of Klaipėda
  • Vilnius Special Nursery-Kindergarten "Čiauskutis"
  •  Nursery-Kindergarten is "Pusaitė" (Klaipėda)
  • Vilnius Special Nursery-Kindergarten "Zolynėlis"
  • Vilnius Special Nursery-Kindergarten "Dobilėlis"

Pre-primary Education

The Pre-primary education in Lithuania lasts for 1 year and is not compulsory to attend. It is a non-formal education that prepares children for primary schools.  
  •  Age: 5 or 6
The pre-primary education in Lithuania is provided by the pre-primary groups and schools, general education schools, and other educational schools. 

Organization of Pre-primary Groups

Following are the pre-primary groups in Lithuania:
Group 1: Comprises of 10-20 children, one teacher, and study of 4 hours a day. A single integrated procedural education is given.
Group 2: Comprises of 10-20 children, one teacher and one assistant teacher, and a study of more than 4 hours a day. 
Group 3- Mixed-age group: Comprises of children less than 10 and all of them stay in a particular area, one teacher and one assistant teacher. Education at this group is differentiated and is as per the children’s age group. 
Part-time working week pre-primary group: Comprises of maximum 20 children.  This is for children who do not have schools in their area or provided upon the request of the parents. 
Seasonal pre-primary education group: Comprises of maximum 20 children and is organized in summer, winter or other times based on the requirements of group. The period of education vary. This education is provided by the pre-school teachers, first-grade teachers, volunteers, social teachers, parents etc.
Weekly pre-primary education group: Comprises of maximum 20 children and is for children whose parents are not able to take care of their child’s education due to work or other problems. These groups run for 5 working days and 24 hours.

Primary Education

The primary education in Lithuania provides elementary literacy, mathematical, social, operational, intellectual, cultural and informational skills. 
  • Age: 6/7 to 10
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Grades: 1-4
All the subjects in primary schools are taught by a single teacher. While in some subjects, different teachers are required. Subjects such as arts, foreign languages, music, etc are taught by other teachers. 

Class size: 24 students 

School year: Commences from September 1 and ends in June 1 with holidays in between. The school year is split up into semester or trimesters. 

Class timings: Classes at primary schools generally start at 8.00 a.m. In the 1st year, a single lesson is of 35 minutes; while from 2nd to 4th year one lesson is of 45 minutes. There are about 5 lessons each day. Also, there are many extra-curricular activities being organized. Students can select depending upon their interest. 

Curriculum: Consists of compulsory subjects and optional non-formal activities
Subjects offered: Mathematics, arts, physical education, moral education that covers religion or ethics; social sciences, languages, music, and natural sciences. 
 
Assessment: The performance of the students is expressed in the form of reports, description, reviews, etc. This form of assessment is known as ideographic evaluation. Regular meetings between children’s parents and teachers are held where they are told about their child’s achievements and other things. 

Types of Schools imparting primary education
  • Primary schools
  • School-kindergarten with pre-school and pre-primary education groups
  • Multi-education centres/schools
  • Other general education schools

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Lithuania encompasses basic/lower secondary and upper secondary education.

Basic Education

The basic education in Lithuania provides elementary knowledge of general and technological literacy, and prepares students culturally, intellectually, morally and socially. 
  • Age: 10-16/11-17
  • Duration: 6 years
  •  Grades: 5-10
The basic education is split up into two levels: 
  • Level 1: Lasts for 4 years and covers grades 5-8
  • Level 2: Lasts for 2 years and covers grades 9-10. This level also consists of vocational education modules. 
 In the 6th year, students are required to study 2 foreign languages. 

Students must have completed primary education in order to gain admittance into basic education. Students who wish to study in sports, music and arts schools are required to sit for an entrance exam. 

Class size: 30 students (Vary)

School year: Starts on September 1.   

Curriculum: Mathematics, moral education, natural sciences, arts studies that covers dance, modern art, music and theatre; languages that cover native and foreign language; information technology; life skills, social education that covers entrepreneurship, history, economics, psychology, civics, and geography; and physical education.

Evaluation: In grade 5, ideographic evaluation method is used; while from grade 6 to 10, a 10-point grading scale is used. 

Types of Basic Education Schools

The basic education is imparted by basic schools, youth schools, gymnasiums, vocational schools and other secondary schools.

Youth schools: These schools are for students aged 12 to 16 who could not attend schools due to social conditions or other reasons.  Youth schools in Lithuania provide basic education and pre-vocational education and training.
  
Vocational Education and Training Institutions: Basic education is also provided in vocational education and training institutions. The programme lasts for 3 years and leads to a professional qualification.

Children with Special Needs

Children with special education needs arising from unfavorable conditions, disabilities or exceptional abilities can get general basic education in special schools. 

Upper Secondary Education

Secondary education in Lithuania is provided by secondary schools, gymnasiums, vocational schools and other schools. Students must hold a basic education certificate in order to gain admittance into the upper secondary education. 
  • Age: 16-18
  • Duration: 2 years
  • Grades: 11-12
Upper secondary education is offered in following types of general education schools:
  • Secondary schools
  • Gymnasium 
School year: Commence on September 1 and is split up into 2 semesters. There are maximum 7 lessons allowed each day and 1 lesson is of 45 minutes. The limit of the lessons depends on the school and varies from 28 to 36. 

Curriculum: Consists of compulsory and optional subjects
 Subjects offered: Mathematics, moral education covers ethics and different religions, such as Jewish, Catholic, Crimean, Evangelical Lutheran, Orthodox, and Evangelic Reformat; natural sciences covers physics, biology, integrated courses on natural sciences, and chemistry; arts education includes computer technologies, arts, graphic designing, music, filmmaking, dance, photography and theatre; languages covers Lithuanian language and literature, Lithuanian sign language, and foreign languages;  information technology; general competences education; social education covers law, economics, history, religious studies, geography, psychology, philosophy, and entrepreneurship; and physical education.
  
Evaluation: The performance of students is assessed in a 10-point grading scale. At the end of the term, final grade is give by taking out the arithmetic mean of all the grades obtained. 

Examination

At the end of upper secondary education, students appear for the school leaving examination- matura, and students who pass are given a maturity certificate.
Matura exams are of 2 kinds:
  • School-level exam: This exam is based on the general curriculum that consists of a specific subject. The exam results are evaluated at the schools as per the guidelines developed centrally. 
  • National-level exam:  This exam is based on the expanded curriculum. These exams are evaluated at the assessment centres, and the exam papers are coded. The exam is prepared and conducted by the National Examination Centre. 
Students are required to pass at least 2 exams in order to receive the certificate. The Lithuanian langue is a mandatory examination. Other are elective subjects. 

Vocational Education and Training

Vocational education and training in Lithuania to the students aged 14 and above. The vocation schools provide theoretical as well as practical knowledge and skills. There are 4 types of vocational training programmes being offered:
  • Type 1: This type is for individual aged 14 who have not obtained basic education certificate. 
  • Type 2: This type lasts for 3 years and is for people who have obtained basic education leaving certificate. A VET qualification is given at the end of the programme.
  • Type 3: This is for individuals who possess an upper secondary school leaving certificate. This type lasts for 1-2 years.
  • Type 4: This type lasts for 3-4 years and is for individuals who possess an upper secondary school leaving certificate. This type consists of higher education and occupational qualification. 
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