Both central and local authorities participate in shaping and implementing adult education policy. At the national level the Seimas (parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government, the Ministry of Education and Science and other ministries, governmental institutions, and institutions accountable to the ministries all have roles to play. The municipalities act at the local level. The Law on Education and Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Continuing Education describe all the functions of the education policy, including adult education policy.
The Seimas performs the following functions in shaping, coordinating and implementing adult education policy:
- Confirms the National Education Strategy for ten years. Education policy priorities, long-term education goals, directions of change of education content and funding priorities are set forth in the National Education Strategy.
- Initiates, debates and confirms legal acts that regulate the education system.
- Performs parliamentary scrutiny of the formation, coordination and implementation of adult education policy.
- Founds a state university on the recommendation of the Government.
The Government performs the following functions:
- Implements the laws and other legal acts regulating education and adult education, long-term state education programmes; the Government Programme in the field of education, approves its implementation programmes.
- Coordinates the activities of the Ministry of Education and Science, other ministries and government agencies on adult education issues.
- Founds, reorganises, liquidates and restructures state colleges, educational institutions, whose legal form is a public establishment, when necessary – government agencies, founds institutions under the Ministry of Education and Science and assigns to this Ministry the rights and duties for the institution under the ministry (with the exception of the adoption of decisions on the reorganisation and liquidation of such institutions);
- Charges its subordinate executive bodies with the task of drafting the National Education Strategy; is responsible for its implementation as well as for the implementation of the Government Programme in the field of education.
- Establishes the order for the quality assurance of non-formal adult education and continuing education.
The Ministry of Education and Science performs the following functions:
- Participates in the shaping, implementation and assurance of the state adult education policy.
- Submits proposals and draft resolutions to the Government: regarding the preparation and improvement of laws and other legal acts; funding of adult education, material base of schools, and disposal of the property of schools.
- Coordinates activities of education departments of municipal administrations in implementing state adult education policy, submits their general regulations for Government approval.
- Organises and coordinates accreditation of general education curricula which are also used in formal adult education.
- Issues licenses to entities offering formal vocational training programmes in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Government.
- Approves criteria for general education, teaching content of formal education (descriptions of primary, basic, secondary curricula, teaching plans) approved by the Minister for Education and Science; criteria for accreditation of secondary education curricula and the description of implementation of the procedure thereof; general criteria for teaching non-formal education programmes supplementing formal education, funded from state or municipal budgets, approved by the Minister for Education and Science.
- Appropriate, by tender, budget allocations for establishments, enterprises and organisations carrying out education, research, culture and sports programmes, projects.
Ministries and institutions accountable to the government in the field of education perform the following functions:
- participate in working groups for drafting documents that regulate adult educational policy and activities of schools, submit proposals to the Ministry of Education and Science concerning draft legal acts;
- Together with the Minister for Education and Science issue education-related legal acts;
- Found vocational training schools and non-formal adult education schools (whose legal form is a budgetary institution), with the written consents of the Minister for Education and Science and the Minister for Finance.
A representative institution of the municipality (the Council) performs the following functions:
- Implements the state adult education policy, sets out long-term objectives of education development as well as measures for the achievement thereof (as from 1 January 2015 the Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Continuing Learning came into force, the Council of the municipality confirms the action plan of the non-formal adult education and continuing learning).
- Founds, reorganises and liquidates education subdivisions of the municipal administration. As from 1 January 2015 with the coming into force of the Law on Non-formal Adult Education and Continuing Learning, the Council of the municipality is obliged to appoint a coordinator to implement the action plan of non-formal adult education and continuing learning.
- Develops a network of schools offering adult non-formal education programmes. It ensures that a network of vocational training and adult education providers, which meets residents’ needs, is developed.
An executive institution of the municipality (director of the administration) performs the following functions:
- analyses the state of adult education, ensures that the state education policy is carried out, and coordinates an action plan of non-formal adult education and continuing learning;
- organises general education, vocational training and vocational guidance, and non-formal adult education;
- organises and coordinates the provision of educational assistance to learners, teachers, family, and schools;
- provides information to the Ministry of Education and Science and the public about the state of education and adult education in the municipality.
Society participates in the shaping and supervision of adult education policy through the Lithuanian Non-formal Adult Education Council that was reactivated by the Government in 2014. The Council is an expert body that provides consultation and considers the main prospects for development of non-formal adult education and strategic directions in non-formal adult education in Lithuania. It also analyses projects for the development of the system of non-formal adult education and coordinates the actions of adult education institutions. The Council consists of representatives from state and municipality institutions, organisations representing the interests of employers and employees, as well as NGOs from the non-formal adult education and continuing learning field. The Lithuanian Association of Adult Education (LAAE) – a social organisation, founded in 1992, is also an active participant in the adult education policy process. In cooperation with Lithuanian and foreign adult educators and institutions, it promotes lifelong learning among the general public. LAAE provides assistance in creating the network of cooperating adult education institutions, provision of information and programme exchanges, development of joint projects and upgrading the andragogic qualification skills of its members.
The Lithuanian Association of Heads of Adult Education Centres is engaged in shaping national policy on adult education. It promotes collaboration between institutions of formal and non-formal education and organises events for the continuing professional development of staff of adult education centres.
The Education Development Centre, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Education and Science, actively participates in the implementation of adult education policy. It implements national adult education and continuing education programmes and projects, creates and runs the digital repository of learning programmes and objects, provides information to the general public, conducts research on the status and needs of adult education in the country and carries out projects related to the development of adult education opportunities.