Creation and Testing of the Model of Financing the Children‘s Optional Education in Municipalities
To increase the accessibility of non-formal children education by expanding the network of non-formal education service providers.
To improve the Lithuanian system of the children‘s optional education seeking to increase its accessibility, the diversity of activities and the quality.
The implementation of the project included the creation of the financing model of non-formal children education and its testing in 4 municipalities (in total – 26190 children were reached) in 2011-2014. It allowed the expansion of the network of non-formal children education providers. The diversity of education providers helped to ensure the diversity of non-formal education programmes for it allowed other institutions and individuals – artists, sportsmen, experts and amateurs of technical, natural and other spheres - along with educational institutions as traditional non-formal education providers to propose services designed in accordance with the provided standards for education programmes.
21 percent of all non-formal education providers (105), which participated in the project, were cultural institutions (libraries, cultural centres and museums).
Referring to the results of the project the legal basis for the national non-formal education financing system was created.
Since September 2015 the non-formal education financing by pupil‘s basket model is applied in the entire Lithuania. 23 percent of the project participants were pupils from rural regions, 53 percent of pupils were 10-15 year-olds (this age group is the most difficult to get involved in educational processes). Over 70 percent of the programmes were implemented by non-budgetary institutions and over 70 percent – non-educational institutions (specialised in cultural, sport activities etc.).
The project activities were financed from the resources of the EU structural funds. Allocation - 1 704 124 Euros.
Various project activities have highlighted to the policy makers and governmental officials the importance of non-formal education for the personal development of a child. The project has proven that quality non-formal education can be provided not only by educational institutions, but also by institutions from other fields (including culture), as well as individuals (e.g.freelance teachers). It has shown that the diversity of non-formal education providers ensures a wider number and diversity of the programmes offered, which in its own right facilitates the geographical access (non-formal education is usually provided in the vicinity of the child's place of living), better responds to the child's interests and needs, as well as his/her age (the number of programmes for teenagers increased) and gender (the number of programmes for boys increased). The project also ensured steady financing of non-formal education programmes for all non-formal education providers which allowed and ensured the consistency and continuity of the process of non-formal education.