Secondary Education

Foundation education
Upon completion of primary education, pupils start studying under the 6-year basic education programme. The foundation education programme is implemented by foundation (similar to pre-A-level schools in the UK), secondary and vocational schools and gymnasiums.

The compulsory foundation education programme consists of two parts: part I - a 4-year programme implemented in the 5-8th forms and part II - a 2-year programme implemented in the 9-10th forms (forms 1-2 in gymnasiums). Pupils can start learning the second foreign language in the 5th form and in the 6th form the second foreign language is compulsory. Pupils who study under the foundation education programme are to be encouraged to be engaged in various social activities, e.g. volunteering, organising events, raising funds for charity.

In form 10 (form 2 in gymnasiums), pupils are able to choose subject modules and study optional subjects following their bent and abilities.

Foreign pupils who can't speak Lithuanian but wish to study in Lithuanian schools have the option to study for one extra year during which they have integration activities and language lessons.

In Lithuania, education is compulsory for children under 16. Compulsory education is usually provided up to the 10th form. Upon completion of the 10th form pupils can choose to undergo an Assessment of Foundation Education test. During these examinations, 2 to 3 subject skills are assessed: Lithuanian language, Mathematics and native language if it is not Lithuanian (e.g. Polish, Russian). After passing the exams, pupils can choose to study in a secondary school that focuses on academics, or undergo vocational training.

Grading System in Lithuania
Usual grading system at Secondary School Level is ten-point scale.

Result Grade Short description in Lithuanian Short description in English
Pass 10 Puikiai excellent
9 Labai gerai very good
8 Gerai good
7 Pakankamai gerai good enough
6 Patenkinamai satisfactory
5 Pakankamai patenkinamai satisfactory enough
4 Silpnai weak
Fail 3 Blogai bad
2 Labai blogai very bad
1 Nieko neatsakė, neatliko užduoties nothing answered, task was not completed

Secondary education is not compulsory and is usually provided for two years (forms 11 and 12 in secondary schools and forms 3 and 4 in gymnasiums). Pupils study according to individual education plans. The programme can include modules of the vocational training programme. Secondary education is provided in secondary schools, gymnasiums, and vocational schools.

Pupils can also choose education which mostly corresponds to their values, world outlook, religious beliefs, and philosophical views. Such education is provided in non-traditional education schools. Non-traditional education schools may operate according to their own programmes, but the total number of subjects and the total number of hours allocated for each subject in forms 1-12 can differ from the numbers specified in the state general education plans by not more than 25 percent.

Maturity examinations
In spring, upon completion of the secondary education programme, school-leavers take maturity examinations. Matura examinations may be of two types, i.e. school-level or national-level. To be awarded a Maturity Certificate, two maturity examinations must be passed: a compulsory exam in Lithuanian and one more optional exam. School-leavers who wish to enter higher education schools and receive state funding (except for studies of Arts), must pass at least 3 maturity examinations. In total, 6 maturity exams may be taken.

State examinations are conducted centrally -- pupils of the graduation forms are registered in the database of the National Examination Centre; examinations are taken in municipal examinations centres; examination papers are encoded and sent to the National Examination Centre where they are assessed by hired experts.

Having completed the secondary education programme and passed maturity examinations, school-levers obtain secondary education.

Secondary and higher education obtained in other countries is assessed by the Lithuanian Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education.

Education of pupils in general education schools is financed through a state budget target grant under the principle of the pupil's voucher. Every year, the state allocates, by taking into account the number of pupils, a special target grant to municipalities. The pupil's voucher is allocated both for public and private schools. When moving to another school, a pupil takes his voucher with him. The pupil's voucher includes money for teachers' salaries, improvement of teachers' skills, textbooks, instructional aids, special psychological aid, cognitive activities of pupils, professional guidance, modules of professional artistic education programmes, administration, execution, assessment of maturity examinations, etc.

Utility expenses of private schools are covered by their stakeholders. Funds for schools of traditional religious communities are allocated by the state under the Agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the Holy See.