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Innovations and developments - Lithuania

Inclusive education has been in process since 1993. Schools where true inclusion is being practised have the opportunity to assess pupils’ capabilities using the general regulations acts or individually prepared records according to the special school example.
The Law “The register of speech therapist, special education teacher, the teacher of the blind and the teacher of the deaf” was approved in 2002-11-25 by the Minister of Education and Science. The pupil’s achievements throughout the semester and at the end of the school year are noted in this register. Special education teachers have the right to assess pupil’s learning achievement during their lesson/training.
Nordic Council of Minister’s Project in the Baltic Countries “A School for All” (started in 1999 and continued until 2004). The general objective of this project is to promote inclusive education in Lithuania, enabling pupils with special educational needs to enter ordinary schools and ensure quality education for each child, to give all children the maximum opportunity for optimal development. This is to occur within the framework of the local education system where the pupils’ participation in the local community is the basic principle. The project is designed to support the development of specialised knowledge at different levels, in order for pupils with special needs to receive an education within the framework of the ordinary educational system. This development of specialised knowledge is designed on the basis of the needs and priorities in the Baltic countries.
According to the main project plan this objective should be reached through the following activities:

  • By in-service training for mainstream school teachers and headmasters, special school teachers and headmasters. This training was done in 5 topics: “Pupils with severe and profound dysfunction”, “Pupils with social and emotional problems”, “The role of pedagogical psychological services in assuring quality inclusive education”, “The role of headmasters and school administrators”.
  • By improving the network of special (boarding) schools, mainstream schools, pedagogical psychological services in Ðiauliai and Panevëþys counties and municipalities who are involved in the project’s activities.
  • By dissemination of the ideas of “A School for All” and introducing them into the educational policy documents.
  • By ensuring lasting positive effects due to the improvement of policy documents, using consultants in in-service teacher training and network or model of co-operation in counties.

Publications published:

  • “A School for All” we create today” (case studies)
  • Inclusive Education in the focus of scientists
  • Framework for teacher training: working in inclusive setting

Seminars/workshops have been held for school project co-ordinators, headmasters, school administrators and politicians. The workshop: “Introducing the framework for teacher training: working in an inclusive setting” for mainstream schools’ teachers, teacher trainers.
Schools where true inclusion is being practised have the opportunity to assess pupils’ capabilities using the general regulations acts or individually prepared records according to the special school example.
Every year integrated pupils with SEN get more funding. Resources are provided by pupil’s back-pack to ensure a quality education to pupils with SEN in mainstream schools: more pupils with SEN, more resources.
Pupils’ assessment done by the School Special Needs Education Commission, PPS or in especially disputable cases by National Centre for Special Needs Education and Psychology is free of charge. The government allocates money for establishing PPS in every municipality.
The attitude to pupils with SEN and their needs changes rapidly. In the past schools got documents where indicated impairments were described, now such practice is abandoned. Teachers get documents where only the curriculum for the pupil is pointed out.
It is important to increase the knowledge about pupils with severe disabilities for different groups of teachers as well as for headmasters and educational authorities, to establish new regional models in order to create a school for all.
Examples of the impact of new ideas that one can see is that some schools now have the function of resource centres. Severely disabled children, earlier “kept” in institutions getting no education, have now been transferred to special schools for education.

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