Lithuania has launched special classes for 201 children of irregular migrants, the Education, Science and Sport Ministry said.
Some 168 children, divided into 11 groups, will be taught by eight teachers at the Rukla Refugee Reception Centre, the ministry said in a press release.
Two other groups, or 17 people in total, will be taught by two teachers in the Vilnius Refugee Day Centre in Naujininkai, and another two groups, or 16 children, will be taught by one teacher at the Pabradė Refugee Centre.
The children have been grouped according to their age, ranging from six to 18 years.
Initially, they will only be taught the Lithuanian language, with Lithuanian history, geography, civic education and other topics to be integrated into the curriculum at a later stage.
"Lithuania has a duty to provide education for all children in its territory, regardless of their legal status", in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and national legislation, Education, Science and Sport Minister Jurgita Šiugždinienė said in the press release.
"We do not know when and how many migrants will leave our country and what proportion of children will remain in our country for a longer period of time," she said. "In any case, the education of children is socially significant. By studying, children will have the opportunity to interact, to get away from their usual environment, which is very important,”
Vilnius Lithuanians’ House, which has years of experience in teaching children from abroad, has selected and trained 40 teachers to teach migrant children.
Almost 4,200 irregular migrants, mostly Iraqi citizens, have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus so far this year.