Lithuania has one of the lowest lifelong learning indicators in Europe: statistics for 2015 show that only 5.8% of adults aged 25-64 participated in education and training. Despite European and national financial support, participation in adult learning remains low. Measures for improving the situation are planned in the Programme for strengthening non-formal adult education and continuing training for 2016-23, a policy document adopted by the Ministry of Education and Science in April 2016.
The programme goals are to establish a sustainable adult education system and coordinate lifelong learning with the needs of economy and society. The policy actions foreseen aim at creating a system of incentives (financial, legal and organisational), developing lifelong learning services, especially in small towns and rural areas, and increasing the diversity of lifelong learning services offered. They will support the development of key competences and positive attitudes to lifelong learning, promote recognition of prior learning and career management opportunities, and strengthen motivation to learn, bridging lifelong learning and work experience.
The results from the 2016 OECD survey of adult skills (PIAAC) revealed that adults in Lithuania showed above-average proficiency in numeracy and average proficiency in literacy compared with adults in the OECD survey countries. However a large proportion of adults in Lithuania showed very low proficiency in problem-solving in technology-rich environments. Successful implementation of the programme is, therefore, important.
A target of 12% of adults in lifelong learning in 2023 has been set. The Ministry of Education and Science has addressed municipalities with a request to be more active in supporting lifelong learning at local level. Municipalities have committed to appointing adult learning coordinators to manage local initiatives, designing action plans, and allocating budgets for adult learning initiatives and programmes.