Thirty thousand two hundred and fifty six-year-olds will go to school on 1st September 2016 – in Lithuania compulsory prschool education is being implemented. Pursuant to the amendments adopted in December of 2015 to the Education Act, all children who turn six in this calendar year have to join kindergarten groups.
As the Ministry of Education and Science has informed, already in the previous school year about 98 percent of six-year-olds attended kindergarten classes; the absolute majority of children, then, participated in the preschool education. “About 30-40 new groups must be formed; it’s just the matter of 1.8 percent of children who have to join kindergarten groups from September,” said the head of the Ministry Audronė Pitrėnienė.
The minister stressed that it had been local governments that had to ensure proper conditions. “As far as I know, there aren’t any complaints from local governments, we don’t have any information there are some problems with it somewhere, so it means everything is prepared,” said A. Pitrėnienė.
The compulsory education of six-year-olds was implemented so as to create opportunities for better preparation of children for the school performance. A similar system of preschool education functions in many countries. In some of them even four-year-olds participate in compulsory classes. According to the Ministry of Education, children who attended preparatory groups perform better during the initial three years of school education. Moreover, as the minister claimed, the compulsory preschool education introduction solves the problem of employment of the teachers who have lost their jobs due to the decreasing number of children in schools.
Based on: BNS
Tłumaczenie by Karolina Katarzyńska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Katarzyńska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.