News2019.05.07 10:16

Lithuania creating network of schools for returning emigrants’ children

Lithuania hopes to better integrate its own returning emigrants by establishing a network of schools for their children.

Representatives of 21 schools, which were chosen for the program in ten municipalities, met with Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Education, Science and Sport Minister Algirdas Monkevicius on Monday

"The 21 schools have been chosen as the best schools with the most experience," Monkevicius told reporters.

There have been previous cases of emigrants’ children failing to integrate once back in Lithuania, due to the language barrier.

However, individual schools have already been organising intensive Lithuanian language classes for returning children, as well as taking part in other city-wide programmes.

In Vilnius this year, for instance, returning Lithuanian emigrants were able to register their children for school without having to wait in line.

Skvernelis said creating conditions for expatriate children to continue their education in Lithuania was key to attracting emigrants back to Lithuania.  

"Most of the returning parents seek to return with their pre-school age children so that they could start their pre-school education here in Lithuania. Those whose [children] have already started their education abroad are hesitant because of the uncertainty about what happens when they are back," he told reporters before the meeting.

The selected schools provide assistance to children who need to improve their Lithuanian language skills and offer special classes where children receive extra teaching in the Lithuanian language.

Several hundred children who need extra Lithuanian language skills are enrolled in Lithuanian schools annually, the minister said.  

The ten municipalities are the city of Vilnius, the city and district of Kaunas, Klaipeda, Siauliai, Panevezys, Mazeikiai, Taurage, Alytus and Marijampole.

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