VILNIUS - Starting next September, families in Lithuania will be able to home-school their children in accordance with the standard pre-primary, primary, basic or secondary education curricula.
Based on a law passed the parliament, the Cabinet approved on Wednesday the rules and requirements for home-schooling, the Education Ministry said in a press release.
Parents will be able to opt for home-schooling as long as they sign an agreement with a school designated by their municipality and meet certain requirements, it said.
Education Minister Algirdas Monkevicius says that families will finally be given the choice following years of discussions about whether to allow home-schooling.
"We can do so after laying down certain conditions for families, putting in place safeguards to protect children and defining the role of the school in this process," he said in the press release.
Designated schools will have to provide home-schooling students with textbooks and counseling, and ensure that they have access to non-formal education programs and events as well as a preventive program for the development of social and emotional competencies.
Teachers from the designated school will assess home-schooling students' achievements and progress, as well as whether their socialization needs are met, twice a school year.
Parents' obligations will include recording their child's achievements in the school's electronic diary at least once in two weeks.
Currently, parents of some 200 children, including 100 children of pre-school age, could be interested in home-schooling, according to the Education Ministry.
The ministry estimates that an additional 76,600 euros would be needed to pay teachers for extra work and to cover other home-schooling-related costs this year, and 230,000 euros next year.