Not all Lithuanian school students have equal access to vocational guidance, auditors say

DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“Vocational guidance is an important element of the education and employment policy and an integral part of the active labour market policy, so it is important that all school students have access to such services. The audit showed that so far not all pupils have equal access to vocational information, guidance, and career education services; also, the continuity and quality of vocational guidance has not been ensured,” said Auditor General Giedrė Švedienė.

The development of vocational guidance has been implemented since 2003 through a number of projects funded from the EU structural funds. Until 2010, the projects were focused on vocational information and guidance, meanwhile since 2010 more attention has been paid to career education. To this end, a project Creation and Development of Career Education and Monitoring Models in General Education and Vocational Training was launched to develop self-understanding and career planning skills in children and young people. However, career specialists were employed for two academic years only in schools with more than 100 pupils, so pupils of smaller rural schools (about 25 percent of all schools) were not provided with access to these services. In 2014, schools with 50 to 100 pupils have been given an opportunity to take part in this project for three months; smaller schools, however, have still not been provided with any vocational guidance services.

The auditors pointed out the failure to ensure the continuity of vocational guidance. After the completion of the EU-funded project activities, municipalities and schools have to ensure that vocational guidance is available to all pupils at their own discretion. According to a survey carried out this September, 56 general education schools and 62 vocational training institutions out of 818 and 65 respectively, pointed out that they will not have a career specialist in their school.

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