Following several years of deliberation, a pilot scheme will be rolled out in 2-3 schools, and later on such classes might be extended to 25 secondary schools with around 15 Lithuanian children on average.
Lithuanian language classes would be optional and would be given over a period of two or three years. They would cover around 100 hours and would be aimed at children aged 12-16.
Cooperating on this issue with Irish institutions, Lithuania’s Ministry of Education and Science told BNS Lithuania the Lithuanian language classes would be given to Lithuanians but non-Lithuanians with good command of the language could also attend them.
The schools will be selected for the pilot scheme by the Lithuanian Embassy in Ireland and the Post Primary Languages Initiative of the Irish Department of Education and Skills.
Ireland adopted a Strategy for Foreign Languages in Education last year, which calls the Lithuanian language a heritage language. The same status was granted to the Polish and Portuguese languages.
Official figures show around 40,000 Lithuanians live in Ireland, but Lithuanian official believe the real number is twice as big.