The Ministry of Education and Science publishes a basket of newly created quality baskets to create conditions for improving the quality of education and reducing educational differences in quality between municipalities by providing "counseling and financial assistance to schools with weakness for good schooling". At the same time, it seeks to support the level of schools with "high school features", to create the conditions for such schools to share experiences with the weakest.
The initiatives will include funds from the European Union (EU) funds, focus on improving the achievements of pupils in grades 5-8. Money schools must reach the next year and spend two years.
"The choice of schools has taken into account students' feelings in school, school culture, student achievements, or the efforts of teachers to help children from families with social risk and so on. Schools are selected to assess pupils' achievements, maturity examinations and external evaluation of schools, "the ministry said in response to the BNS.
Among the selected sampling schools are five Klaipėda, four Kaunas, three Šiauliai, two Panevezys and Vilnius schools, and Rokiskis, Ukmerge, Šilutė, Ignalina and other educational institutions. Among the "weak" schools there are 14 municipalities in Vilnius, 10 District Offices in Vilnius, seven Šakiai Regions, six Šilalė Regions and other, mainly regional schools.
According to the MES, schools with poor schooling status will receive counseling and financial assistance, a larger basket than the strong ones, as they will carry out more activities.
The funds will be devoted to the educational environment and measures, to improving school activities, improving learning, improving the educational environment, research and creative activities of pupils, the qualifications of teachers and additional support for education .
Expect to improve students' achievements
Gražvydas Kazakevičius, Deputy Minister of Education and Science, expects the quality basket to reduce the number of pupils who do not reach the level of basic achievements and increase the number of students reaching a higher level of achievement.
"This will also help reduce differences in the quality of education both between municipalities and between individual general education schools," the deputy minister said in a comment to the BNS.
According to him, international national studies show that the achievements of Lithuanian students are rather limited – there is a widening gap between the achievements of girls and boys, various municipalities and schools, and between urban and rural schools.
"The achievements of pupils are influenced by the social, economic, cultural environment of pupils, the quality of school activities. Studies conducted in many countries show the same trend: better parenting and higher social status affect their children's achievements but educational measures can help many children in a disadvantaged social and economic environment, "said G. Kazakovicius.
Each school with a quality basket should prepare a school improvement plan for two years with the municipality and the project manager. Schools will have a counselor to help and monitor the progress of the project.
Priority is for those who receive free meals
The schools were selected by a special committee composed of representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science, the National Examination Center, the Center for the Development of Education, the Education Information Center, the National Evaluation Agency, the Association of Lithuanian Municipalities, the Association of Education Chiefs , the Parents' Forum and the Lithuanian League of School Leaders.
Among the selection criteria used are the requirements for schools to have at least 120 students, would not have combined 5-8 lessons and did not choose students from these grades according to the achievements.
The list of strong schools included institutions with a common success rate or maturity examinations among the highest in the country, an external evaluation of the quality of school performance five years ago.
The schools with the worst achievements are among the weakest schools.
The choice of both strong and weak schools was also greatly influenced by the higher number of students taking free meals.
85% will be transferred to designated municipalities. quality money in the basket, the remaining 15% will have to allocate from their budgets. Later, the municipalities will be reimbursed if the agreements provided for in the improvement plan are fulfilled.
After a year, the school improvement plan can be adjusted to take account of the situation.