Education in Lithuania

image of Education in Lithuania

Lithuania has achieved steady expansion of participation in education, substantially widening access to early childhood education and care and tertiary education, coupling this with nearly universal participation in secondary education. However, if Lithuania’s education system is to help the nation respond effectively to economic opportunities and demographic challenges, improvements in the performance of its schools and its higher education institutions are needed. Improved performance requires that Lithuania clarify and raise expectations of performance, align resources in support of raised performance expectations, strengthen performance monitoring and the assurance of quality, and build institutional capacity to achieve high performance. This orientation to improvement should be carried across each sector of its education system.

This report assesses Lithuania’s policies and practices against best practice in education from across the OECD and other countries in the region. It analyses its education system’s major strengths and the challenges it faces, from early childhood education and care to tertiary education. It offers recommendations on how Lithuania can improve quality and equity to support strong, sustainable and inclusive growth. This report will be of interest in Lithuania and other countries looking to raise the quality, equity and efficiency of their education systems.

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Primary and lower secondary education in Lithuania

Nearly all Lithuanian students complete basic education, and achieve on average a level of learning by age 15 that is close to international standards. These results are accomplished by teachers and school leaders who are accorded wide autonomy, and on the basis of comparatively modest levels of spending. However, there are important challenges facing primary and lower secondary schooling in Lithuania. A declining school-age population makes it difficult for authorities to efficiently manage the nation’s school network. The nation’s capacity to renew its teaching workforce is hampered by unattractive conditions of employment, an unsettled vision of what good teaching is, and what sort of education can best prepare good teachers. The nation’s 15-year-old students are less successful in using and applying knowledge than are students in the bestperforming regional peer countries, and wide and persistent gaps exist between rural and urban students. This chapter examines each of these challenges, and identifies policy options that might be adopted to mitigate inequities and raise performance across the board.


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