The Fight for Educational Freedom in Lithuania
by Trudi Miller, Global Outreach Coordinator • August 21, 2019
In 2012, Lithuania passed a new education law that banned homeschooling. Since then the Ministry of Education has maintained a strict hand over the municipalities and how they direct their education programs.
However, the Lithuanian Homeschooling Association is advocating for legislation that would result in education freedom. Getting the Ministry of Education to proceed has proven difficult, with no indication that parliament could move to the next stage of enacting the proposed law before this coming fall.
Agne Kundrotiene has provided a translation of the proposed Republic of Lithuania Law of Education I-1489 below:
SUPPLEMENTARY ARTICLE 311
Article 1. Addition to Article 311 of the Law
To add an Article 311 to the law with the following:
Article 311. Family education
1. At the request of the parents (guardians), the child could be educated in the family within the framework of pre-primary, primary, basic and secondary education. When the form of family education is chosen, the parents (guardians) and the school of their choice sign a learning contract by mutual agreement.
2. Before concluding a contract on a child's family education, the school shall have the right to inspect the conditions of family education and to assess the child's level of development and knowledge, with the assistance of appropriate specialists.
3. School with which contract is made, is counseling, providing educational materials, tracks learning progress and achievements, and a need for socialization.
4. The procedure for the implementation of family education as well as the financing thereof shall be established by the government or an institution authorized by it.
Article 2. Entry into force and implementation of the law
1. This law shall enter into force on 1st of September 2019.
2. The Government of the Republic of Lithuania or an institution authorized by it has to implement legislation for this law until the 31st of August 2019.
According to Kunrotiene, the Ministry of Education wished to change Article 1 section 2 to “school has to inspect the conditions … with the assistance of child care specialists.” While this education act opens the option of home education, the alternative method will be highly regulated by the state.
You can read the original document here.
In the meantime, while the government delays passing this legislation, the Klimai family was called in by local authorities and told that if they continue to homeschool, they must leave the country. Otherwise their family would be consistently checked on by authorities, who may decide to take custody of Klimais’ son.
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