In Lithuania, the curricula of all three stages of state school education (primary, basic and secondary) are shaped by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports. According to the general descriptions of primary, basic and secondary education, the curricula of these stages have to encompass 6, 8 and 7 study fields. Primary education comprises 6 study fields: moral education (religion or ethics), languages (mother tongue and first foreign language), mathematics, natural and social sciences, arts and technologies, and physical and health education. The curriculum of basic education comprises the following study fields: moral education (religion or ethics), languages (mother tongue and literature, first and second foreign languages), mathematics (mathematics and informatics), natural sciences (biology, physics, chemistry, etc.), social sciences (history, geography, civil education, economics, entrepreneurship, citizenship), arts (fine arts, music, dance, theatre, and modern arts), technologies (nutrition, textiles, construction materials, electronics, product design and technology, etc.), and physical education. Some subjects can be studied at an intensified level. The third stage of education comprises the same study fields as basic education except technologies.
Subjects of the arts, i.e. fine arts, music, dance, theatre, and modern arts are the compulsory part of education at all three stages. The aim of this part of the curriculum is the development of general artistic competencies of pupils and their ability to express oneself creatively by means of art, and to understand and value artistic creation. The developed artistic competencies should help pupils to make informed and independent decisions about further learning and participation in artistic creation and culture. However, according to the curriculum plans approved by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, compulsory subjects in the primary and basic stages of education only include the fine arts and music. The schools may offer subjects of dance and theatre depending on their possibilities and the preferences of pupils.
Pupils with artistic abilities can choose to enrol in special arts or music schools that combine general education with specialised artistic education. According to the data of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport there are 9 specialised art schools in Lithuania, funded by the state and/or municipalities: 4 schools specialising in music, 1 specialising in fine arts, 3 schools combining fine arts and music, and 1 school combining fine arts, music and ballet. In 2018, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, launched a cultural education measure for schoolchildren called the Cultural Pass (Kultūros pasas). The aim of the measure is to improve access to cultural and educational projects and events and to develop the cultural awareness and experience of schoolchildren by providing appropriate cultural and artistic services (see chapter 6.1 for more about the measure).
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