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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Upper secondary education in Lithuania

Lithuania has achieved a very high level of attainment in upper secondary education, with more than nine in ten of today’s young Lithuanians forecasted to complete their upper secondary education over their lifetime. Even so, there is scope for improvement. Upper secondary vocational education has struggled to increase its attractiveness to learners, and to provide them strong labour market outcomes. Upper secondary general education has permitted graduates to successfully continue their studies at the tertiary level. However, the matura examination, a high-stakes school leaving and higher education entry examination, creates incentives for teachers and students to focus principally on tested subjects within the upper secondary general education curriculum, and on the accumulation rather than application of knowledge. Moreover, with one high-stakes examination at the end of secondary studies, schools find it challenging to create steady and consistent incentives for learning across the entire course of the secondary studies. This chapter examines these challenges and identifies policy options to boost the attractiveness of the vocational offer and to align the matura examination with the competency-focused intended curriculum.


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