According to the Greek Constitution, the government
is required to offer free and mandatory educational
services for all children ages 6 to 15 years (in other
words, a mandatory 9-year educational system).
Children first go to kindergarten at the age of 5 years.
The curriculum in kindergarten aims to prepare
students for the first grade and the years to follow. At
the age of 6 years, students enter the Demotikon or
Elementary school for grades 1 through 6. The basic
goal of the Dimotiko (Primary school) is to ensure the
children's all-round, harmonious and balanced mental
and physical development.
In the first two years pupils are not officially graded, and
parents obtain feedback about their performance via oral
communications with teachers. Grading begins in Year
3, and written exams are introduced in Year 5.
Graduating from one year to the next is automatic, and
pupils with deficient performance are given remedial
tutoring. Years are called "classes", from first to sixth:
Year 1: age 6 to 7
Year 2: age 7 to 8
Year 3: age 8 to 9
Year 4: age 9 to 10
Year 5: age 10 to 11
Year 6: age 11 to 12
A normal school-day starts at 8.15 and finishes from
12.30 to 16.15 depending on the class and the school.
The classes last between 30 and 80 minutes.
The school year always starts in the second week of
September and ends in the second week of June.
The students have summer vacation (3
months), Christmas vacation (2 weeks) and Easter
vacation (2 weeks).
Furthermore, students usually take another four days
off in order to celebrate their two national holidays
(28/10 and 25/3).
Enrollment to the next tier of compulsory education,
the Gymnasium, is automatic.
Secondary Education in Greece is divided into two
levels: compulsory (lower) Secondary Education and
post-compulsory (upper) Secondary Education.
Compulsory Secondary Education (ISCED2) is
provided in Gymnasio. Attendance in Gymnasio lasts
for 3 years and addresses 12-15 years old pupils.
Education at Gymnasio level is designed to promote
the pupils' all-round development with reference to
the abilities which they have at that age and the
demands which life puts on them.
Starts on September 11 and ends on June 15 to 18. The lessons
end in the second week of May so that the students will be
able to study for their examinations between May and June.
The classes start at 8.15 and end from 13.45 to 14.15 according
to the type of school. Classes last from 30 min. to 45 min. and
there are breaks of 10 and 5 minutes between them. Every
month each school is obliged to take the students for a walk
(περίπατος), which is usually spontaneous, decided right
before the first class and an educational excursion to a
museum or theater etc. In the end of the year each school is
obliged to organize 3 school trips, one for the students of the
2nd year for 3–4 days, one for the students of the 3rd year for
3–5 days and for all of the students which lasts one day.
There are 6 types of gymnasiums in
General Gymnasium (entering there from the primary
school is automatic)
Athletic Gymnasium (to enter this type of school students
must pass certain exams on a sport like basketball, football,
volleyball, gymnastics, polo, swimming etc.)
Musical Gymnasium (to enter this type of school students
must pass certain exams on a musical instrument)
Post-compulsory (Upper) Secondary Education (ISCED
3) according to the reform of 1997, involves two types of
schools: Eniaio Lykeio (Unified Lyceum) and Techniko
Epaggelmatiko Ekpaideftirio - TEE (Technical
Vocational Educational School). The duration of studies
in Eniaia Lykeia is three years and in the Technical
Vocational Educational Schools (TEE) two years (a'
level) or three years (b' level).
Assessment is based on day to day oral tests and the
general involvement of the pupil in the learning
process, on short written tests, on written tests given
without warning during the school year and, finally, on
written examinations at the end of the school year. At
the end of the school year pupils who fail certain
subjects must take a repeat examination in September.
Pupils leaving the Gymnasiums are given a leaving
Tertiary education (ISCED 5) is provided in two parallel
sectors: the university sector and the higher
technological sector. Courses at tertiary level institutes
last for 8-12 semesters. Students are admitted to these
Institutes according to their performance at national
level examinations taking place at the third grade of
Lykeio. Postgraduate courses (ISCED 6) are also available
at Tertiary education level.
The mission of University Education is to ensure a
high level of theoretical and all-round training for the
future scientific workforce.
The University Education system includes the
Universities (AEI), the Polytechnics, the Higher Fine
Arts Institute and the Hellenic Open University.
Higher Technological Education:
The role of Higher Technological Education, which
includes Technological Education Institutes (TEI), is to
contribute to the country's development and to progress
in the fields of science and applied research. The focus is
on the absorption and transfer of scientific data into the
production process. The courses are more practically
oriented than in the Universities. Higher Technological
Education also includes ASPAITE, the Higher School of
Pedagogical and Technical Education studies. Graduates
of a Master course or a diploma study are entitled to
enroll in doctoral studies at universities.