EDUCATION IN LITHUANIA
The current system of secondary education is comprised of primary school ( 1st to 4th forms ), basic school ( 5th to 10th forms ), general education secondary school ( 1st to 12th forms ) and 4 years of gymnasium corresponding to the 9th to 12th forms of secondary school. There are also special education institutions for children with special needs, youth schools which provide basic education and adult education institutions. Secondary education ends in taking one compulsory and three optional exams. Successful student are awarded a School Leaving Certificate. Education is free in all state secondary schools.
Tuition normally begins at the age of six or seven. Compulsory education lasts until the age of 16. Pupils can stay at school for twelve years but some of them leave school having finished the 10th form. These pupils usually go to vocational junior colleges or trade schools where they can get both secondary education and the qualifications. Higher education can be pursued by individuals who have secondary school graduation documents. There are 15 state schools of higher education in our country: 7universities, 6 academies and 2 institutes, as well as 3 clerical seminaries.
In Lithuania children go to school 5 days a week. There is no school on Saturdays and Sundays. The school year begins in September and ends in the middle of June. There are optionally three terms or two semesters in the school year. The curriculum may slightly differ from school, though basic subjects such as Lithuanian, Mathematics, History, Science, Computer Studies, modern languages are included in the curriculums of all schools. Religious education is provided for all pupils, but parents can choose either to send their children to classes of religion or ethics.