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As Lithuania regained its independence in 1990, it became the front-runner among post-Soviet states to reform its education system. Vaiva Vebra, the Deputy Minister of Education, stated in December 1999 that much effort had been devoted to transforming the educational system because of the country's belief in the Jeffersonian maxim, "Education is the anvil upon which democracy is forged." She also stated that the key component to successful reform is the introduction of critical thinking into the system. Preparing students for "independent decision making as adults in a civil society and market based economy" has become the new goal for the educational system. There are newly written textbooks or textbooks translated from Western sources, as well as "break-through schools" that are encouraged to "pull away from the mainstream."

Economic difficulties have hindered Lithuania's progress. The government was forced to cut educational spending by 17 percent in 1999, but Vebra maintains that the teachers' commitment to education will enable the momentum of educational reform to persevere, despite the system's lack of funds ("Lithuania in the Vanguard of Education Reform" 1999).


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—Mara Iutcovich and Mark Iutcovich

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Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceLithuania - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education