2021.09.01 14:45

Higher teacher pay and pre-school for everyone – Lithuanian parties sign education policy deal

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS2021.09.01 14:45

Representatives of Lithuania’s parliamentary parties have signed a pact on national education policy, agreeing to gradually raise education spending “irrespective of electoral cycles”.

The document outlines eighteen specific commitments in the area of education, eight success targets and three financial targets. The agreement will run until 2030.

According to Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, who attended the signing ceremony at the parliament on Wednesday, the government will start implementing some of the provisions in next year's public spending budget.

The document stresses that the agreed commitments will be implemented “irrespective of electoral cycles, campaigns, [election] results and changes in political authority”. It also says that the process will have to involve social partners.

As regards financial indicators, the agreement says that education spending per secondary student should be equal to at least 24 percent of GDP per capita. The target is to be achieved by 2030. In 2017, the figure was 17.8 percent.

Higher education expenditure per student should be raised to 36 percent of GDP per capita in 2030, from 25 percent in 2017.

Government spending on research and development should be raised to at least 1 percent of GDP by that time, up from 0.3 percent in 2018.

The agreement also sets targets for raising teacher pay. According to the document, the average wage for school teachers should be 130 percent of the average pay by 2024, while lecturers, researchers and scholars should make at least 150 percent.

The agreement also calls for creating conditions for pre-school education of all children.

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