ASPECTS OF DECENTRALIZATION IN MANAGEMENT REFORMS OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IN LITHUANIA
Keywords:Education management, centralization, decentralization, education services market.
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.