Aspects of decentralization in management reforms of the education system in Lithuania
The article probes into factors that determine processes of decentralization in managing the general education system. The study entails a review of pertinent literature and an analysis of the distribution of powers among entities managing the general education system in Lithuania. The study concludes that the education management system in Lithuania is gradually being decentralized and de-concentrated on the basis of the subsidiarity principle. A successful implementation of the decentralization reform requires the following two conditions: political support for proposed changes and the ability of those charged with carrying out the reform. An analysis of literature confirms that decentralization as a process is also a function of factors other than political will and capacity. These factors include trust (the extent of decentralization depends on the central government’s trust in the local government, and vice versa), financial troubles, path dependencies, international developments, etc. An analysis of the distribution of decision making powers in areas of financing and human resources demonstrates that there is a trend towards decentralization, albeit inconsistent due to obstacles on the level of centralized management. The article maintains that there has to be an adequate balance between centralization, which is necessary for the implementation of general national educational objectives, and decentralization, which allows teachers, schoolchildren, parents and the representatives of local communities to participate in education management.
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