Second Level Education
Secondary education is divided into (Basic) junior secondary (Grades 5-10), which is compulsory and senior secondary (Grades 11 and 12) education, which is non-compulsory. Junior secondary education is a constituent part of a comprehensive basic school education and is offered at gymnasiums, secondary, basic, youth, vocational and other schools.
Junior secondary (basic) education covers Grades 5 to 10. Specialisations are introduced in Grade 7. Subjects of study are offered at two levels, Basic (B) and Advanced (A) at this stage. Upon completion of the tenth grade, a certificate is issued which lists completed subjects and their evaluation at A or B level. Before September 1999, junior secondary education covered grades 5 to 9, making compulsory education nine years in length.
Senior secondary education is provided to pupils who have completed basic education. Senior secondary education is non-compulsory and covers Grades 11 and 12. Students can complete secondary education at a general education school, gymnasium, boarding school, special school or vocational school, and the type of education received will depend on the school attended. Education in the final two grades (11-12) of secondary education is differentiated; in grades 11–12, pupils learn according to one of the four profiles they can choose from: humanities, science, technology or arts. From 1 September 2000, profiled teaching was introduced in all Lithuanian schools providing general education. This profilation of education types was recently abolished.
On completion of basic education, pupils may either proceed to grade 11 in the same school or transfer to another general education secondary school or a gymnasium. Alternatively, students may complete their education in a vocational school which provides secondary education and professional qualifications based on the stage 3 vocational school programmes (see Section 8.1 below).
Gymnasiums provide in-depth general education and specialise in humanities and arts, fine arts Students study for six to nine years. Four-year gymnasiums (except for fine arts gymnasiums) admit those pupils seeking general secondary education who have completed at least eight grades. Two-year gymnasiums admit pupils who have completed a ten-year basic school. Conservatoires may also admit pupils who have completed ten grades and have the required musical training.
Vocational education and training has been the subject of significant reform and restructuring over the past 15 years. Initial vocational education and training is formal and designed for acquisition of an initial qualification. It is provided to learners who have completed basic or secondary education. For learners who have completed basic education, its curriculum can be coupled with the secondary education curriculum. Initial vocational education and training may be also provided to those pupils without basic education who are not younger than 14 years of age.
Awards attained at the end of this cycle:
Pagrindines mokyklos baigimo pazymejimas (PMP) (Basic School Leaving Certificate)
The Pagrindines mokyklos baigimo pazymejimas (PMP) is awarded to learners who have successfully completed basic or junior secondary education. Holders of this award may continue with their secondary education or begin initial vocational education.
The Brandos atestatas is awarded to students who have successfully completed senior secondary education. The year of completing the programme and acquiring the secondary education does not necessarily coincide. The Brandos atestatas is also issued to a person who has completed the adult secondary education programme and has passed the Matura examinations.
Pupils in the last year of secondary education who do not take the Matura examinations or who pass only part of the examinations/credits required for the award of the Brandos atestatas are issued a certificate attesting to learning achievements.
To receive the Brandos atestatas, pupils have to take Matura examinations. Matura examinations can be two types: school-level or national-level. Those wishing to receive the Brandos atestatas must pass examinations in four subjects from the secondary education programme; the compulsory examination in the Lithuanian language and at least three elective examinations in selected subjects. The assessment of national-level exams is norm-referenced from 1 to 100 points. The assessment of school-level examinations is criterion referenced, and the results are rated on a 10-point scale (1−10).