Education Exchanges Support Foundation
The Education Exchanges Support Foundation (hereinafter – “the Foundation”) is a national agency entrusted with the administration of Erasmus+ and other initiatives funded by the European Commission (EC) and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in the field of education and vocational training, which has been successfully operating since 2007.
By initiating and administering programmes and projects, we actively contribute to the improvement of the education system and the promotion of physical activity.
Everyone in Lithuania has access to experience in an education and/or physical activity project.
Aims of the Foundation
- Innovative, learning, constantly improving governance and business processes, and using the state-of-the-art technologies;
- Socially responsible towards its surrounding environment, customers, employees, clients and the public;
- Open to employees and the public, adopting decisions that are transparent and clearly communicated;
- Employees are experts in their fields;
- High level of customer satisfaction.
The Foundation administers more than 50 different activities that are equally relevant to students and seniors, kindergartens or schools, and higher education or other education-related institutions. The opportunities offered by the Foundation are available to various associations, business or non-governmental organisations and other structures seeking to improve their business practice or enhance their employees’ qualifications. Besides the Erasmus+ programme, the Foundation also administers other educational programmes or initiatives such as Euroguidance, Europass, Erasmus+, eTwinning, EPALE, and Nordplus programme funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.
EPALE is Lithuania is an attractive on-line tool that ensures communication between adult educators, shares qualitative content and facilities adult educators’ professional development. The main EPALE NSS Lithuania priorities and objectives ensures the objectives and priorities of the call, contributes to the EU strategic and legislative context and ensures the qualitative implementation of the project.
EPALE in Lithuania seeks to enhance experts’ skills and competencies, to stimulate innovation and the transfer of good practices between them and to improve policy and practice (by providing a space, a “virtual home” where they can collaborate by sharing ideas, information, experience, pedagogical material and good practice in the field).
EPALE in Lithuania seeks to promote all the features offered by the platformand to ensure their usability: by promoting them to the experts and inviting them to share their knowledge and experience to other target groups.
EPALE NSS LT priorities for 2022–2024:
- EPALE as a recognised tool in raising awareness on the importance and quality of adult education;
- Promotion and supporting of collaboration and communication among different adult education providers;
- Synergy between the Erasmus+, Nordplus programmes and EPALE;
- Development of new teaching/learning materials by adult educators by using new technologies and innovative methods offered by the EPALE;
- Raising awareness about the EPALE in Lithuanian adult learning community;
- Increasing engagement of the adult learning community in EPALE;
- Expanding the content of EPALE, ensuring its high quality and relevance to Lithuanian adult education providers.
The main target groups:
- Adult education providers;
- National, regional and local authorities responsible for adult education;
- Adult education umbrella organisations.
During the period 2022-2024 EPALE NSS LT will promote the use of EPALE platform and its tools through the main activities of the project.
Deputy director responsible for Epale in the organization Žana Orlova
Project coordinator Jurgita Pilypaitytė
Project coordinator Edita Trečiokienė
Communication specialist Aušra Karklytė
The National Education Strategy for 2013-2022 reflects the State’s main needs. These are named in the State Progress Strategy “Lithuanian Progress Strategy ‘Lithuania 2030’” (Lietuva 2030), which sets out a vision for a smart Lithuania. Society has to become active, solidary and continuously educated. Each person must be open to change, creative and responsible. That is why education policy and the provided directions for changes in education must bring together the education society and all of the people of Lithuania (solidarity) to constantly and continuously develop (education) in seeking individual and national success (activeness) ensuring equal opportunities.
Lifelong learning encompasses all learning activity undertaken throughout life, with the aim of improving knowledge, skills and competences, within a personal, civic and social and employment related perspective.
Formal adult education includes general education, vocational education and training, and higher education. Formal adult education refers to institutionalised learning activities which are purpose-specific, organised, with a fixed length of studies, curriculum, learner evaluation system, formal admission and registration requirements, education content, teaching methods and resources. Upon completion of studies, learners are granted officially recognised diplomas and professional qualifications.
The purpose of non-formal adult education is to provide an individual with conditions for lifelong learning, meet the needs of cognition, upgrade the qualification already acquired and obtain additional qualifications. Non-formal adult education can be provided by educational institutions, companies, public organisations and various individuals. No officially recognised certification is granted.
Self-education (informal learning) is a natural daily self-directed process of learning which may not necessarily be premeditated; it is less organised and structured and may be driven by personal motivation or professional and family circumstances. As a result, it may not be recognised even by those individuals who are improving their competences. It is based on satisfaction of personal, social and family needs.
Institutions Providing Adult Education and Training
In Lithuania, adult education institutions may be formal and non-formal. Lithuanian adults can follow formal education programmes in several types of institutions, including general education schools, adult education centres, vocational schools, colleges and universities. Those institutions (except general education schools) offer continuing professional development and retraining courses that also make an integral part of adult education.
Formal adult education schools (education centres) belong to the secondary school type within the group of general education schools. Adult general education schools provide adult primary, basic and secondary curricula. Studies according to these curricula may also be provided in adult classes set up in mainstream general education schools. Adult general education schools may organise adult education according to the adapted secondary education curricula, with admission available to persons from 21 years of age. Schools create conditions for learners to study certain compulsory and elective or additional and non-formal subjects in a modular way. Learners can also choose the extramural form of learning (studies by correspondence).
Adult schools that have the necessary material facilities and vocational training curricula may provide vocational education and training and create conditions for pupils to acquire a professional qualification.
Vocational education and training is provided at state, municipal and private institutions of vocational education and training and also at industrial enterprises. In Lithuania, there are vocational schools providing theoretical and practical vocational training alongside general education; vocational training centres and institutions offering vocational training; and specialised vocational training institutions for persons with special educational needs. Institutions of vocational training may also provide continuing education. The labour market vocational training is also part of the formal adult education system. The system of the labour market vocational training is instrumental in tackling an important specific task of softening the mismatch between demand and supply on the labour market and bringing the supply of qualifications closer to the rapidly changing demand. Vocational training centres offer not only labour market vocational training programmes but also some other programmes of formal and non-formal adult vocational training. They are mainly intended for persons from the age of eighteen. Vocational training centres offer training at both levels to persons without any professional qualifications and persons undergoing retraining whose qualifications are not currently in demand. Practical training is carried out with a view of the learners’ prior work experience and their skills. Such training may be fully or partially conducted at enterprises, organisations and special vocational training centres, or may be offered by vocational training institutions that have licences for practical vocational training.
Teacher education centres offer programmes of continuing professional development for teachers and various other non-formal education programmes. The Lithuanian Association of Adult Education (LAAE), founded in 1992, in cooperation with Lithuanian and foreign adult educators and institutions, promotes an approach of lifelong learning among the general public. LAAE provides assistance in creating the network of cooperating adult education institutions, provision of information and programme exchanges, development of joint projects and upgrade of the andragogic qualification skills of its members.
The Education Development Centre that is subordinate to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport implements national adult education and continuing education programmes and projects, creates and runs the digital repository of learning programmes and objects, provides information to the general public, conducts research on the status and needs of adult education in the country and carries out projects related to the development of adult education opportunities.
The Regulations of Lithuanian Non-formal Adult Education Council were adopted by the Government in 2014. The Lithuanian Non-formal Adult Education Council is an expert body that provides consultation and consider the main prospects for development of non-formal education in Lithuania. It also carries out the analysis of projects for the development of the system of non-formal adult education, coordinates the actions of adult education institutions. Lithuanian Non-formal Education Council consists of representatives from state’s and municipalities’ institutions, organizations representing employers and employees interests, NGOs’ from the non-formal adult education and continuing learning field. The Non-formal Adult Education Council is composed from 15 persons.
The Lithuanian Association of Heads of Adult Education Centres is engaged in shaping the national policy on adult education, promotes collaboration between institutions of formal and non-formal education and organises events of continuing professional development to the staff of adult education centres.
Non-formal education of senior citizens is organised by the Universities of the Third Age that have branches in several towns of the country. The activities of the public organisations stimulate the integration of people of different ages into society and the need for continuous education. The Universities offers various schemes that help improve people’s health and the quality of life. Non-formal education is provided by vocational training institutions and enterprises that have included such activities in their regulations or have licences issued by the Ministry of Education and Science to provide such training.
Other ministries of the country, such as the Ministry of National Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Culture, have their own in-house structures of non-formal adult education where specialists of the respective fields improve their professional qualifications.