Lithuania's Ministry of Education and Science plans to introduce mandatory pre-school education for six-year-olds as of September 2015, with 5 million litas (EUR 1.45m) earmarked for the purpose in next year's budget proposal.
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

The ministry's plans were Wednesday presented at the parliamentary Committee for Education, Science and Culture by the head of the ministry's Pre-School and Elementary Education, Gražina Šeibokienė.

She cited research as proving benefits of pre-school education, adding that Lithuania is among three countries of the European Union (EU) that start mandatory education at a rather late age. To make pre-school education required for all six-year-olds of Lithuania, parliament will have to adopt amendments to the Education Law, which are still in preparation.

"Lithuania is one of the three countries, together with Italy and Slovakia, where children come to school at a very late age. In all other countries, education is either mandatory before starting school or children join the system of general education at an earlier age. In Latvia, education is mandatory from the age of five, while pre-school education is mandatory in Poland," said the specialist.

In Lithuania, 95.63 percent of six-year-olds are involved in pre-school education, with 81 percent of five-year-olds attending pre-school education institutions. Under 6,000 five-year-olds do not attend any formal education institutions.

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