Greek educational system


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Greek educational system

  1. 1. National s system overview on education systems in Europe n y p 2011 Editio onEL European Commission
  2. 2. National system overview on education systems in Europe GREECE SEPTEMBER 20111. Education population and language of instructionAccording to the latest available data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority, at the beginning of the2009/10 school year 1 051 297 and 75 828 pupils were enrolled respectively in public and inprivate compulsory education (primary and lower-secondary school levels). On 1st January 2009,the estimated population aged 0 to 29 years numbered 3 638 200 individuals comprising 32.3 % ofthe total population.The language of instruction at all levels of education is Greek. Concerning the Muslim community,there are minority schools in which the teaching of courses takes place both in the Greek and theTurkish language.2. Administrative control and extent of public-sector funded educationIn 2009/10 school year, 93.64 % of the pupils enrolled in primary and secondary educationattended public schools. Private schools are not grant aided; they are fully self-financed. Privateprimary and secondary schools are under the supervision and inspection of the Ministry ofEducation Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs. The university level is comprised exclusively ofstate institutions.Administrative control remains focused at the central level, while measures have been taken inrecent years to devolve responsibilities to the regional level. The Ministry of Education LifelongLearning and Religious Affairs formulates and implements legislation, administers the budget,coordinates and supervises its decentralized services, approves primary and secondary schoolcurricula and appoints teaching staff. There are thirteen Regional Education Directorates under theMinister of Education implementing educational policy and linking local agents to central servicesand organizations. They are responsible for the administration and supervision of otherdecentralized services in their area, as well as for the coordination of local School Advisors.At the next level of the administrative structure, Directorates of Education (in each prefecture) anddistrict Education Offices provide administrative support, supervise operation of area schools andfacilitate co-ordination and cooperation between schools.School Heads serve as the administrative and educational heads of their school unit; theycoordinate and guide teachers in their work and make provision for in-service training.National system overview on education systems in Europe 1/8
  3. 3. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)Teachers’ Associations implement program and curricular regulations and monitor studentattendance and discipline. School Committees, which include parent and local representatives,manage budgets for heating, lighting, maintenance, equipment etc.The Directorates of Education and Offices are responsible for monitoring the operation of schoolswithin their area. According to the current legislation, the evaluation of schools is to be carried outat the local level with the Teachers’ Associations drawing up a self-evaluation report and regionalcentres conducting an appraisal of school operations in their area.Higher education institutions are funded by the State. They are self-governed under the auspices ofthe Ministry of Education.3. Pre-primary educationChildren aged 4 years may attend public or private pre-primary schools (nipiagogeia). Pre-primaryattendance is compulsory for all five-year-old children; it remains optional, however, for four-year-old children.Public state-run pre-primary schools do not charge any fees. Parents pay full tuition fees for theirchild to attend private pre-primary schools. Children enrol in nipiagogeia according to the family’splace of residence.Nipiagogeia are considered part of primary education. They follow national curricula for the pre-primary level that have been developed by the Education Policy Institute. The maximum class sizeis limited to 25 pupils. The pupils have a 9 month school year and a daily program lasting from 8:15to 12:15; unless they attend all day pre-primary schools (Oloimera Nipiagogeia) where childrenmay arrive as early as 7:00 (in the case that at least 5 pupils are gathered) and leave as late as16:00. Every year Nipiagogeia operate from 1st of September till 21st of June.Education and care for children 4 years of age and under is provided at child centres (paidikoistathmoi) and at infant centres (vrefonipiakoi stathmoi) – the latter from 6 months of age – that aremunicipal, i.e. public, or private. Attendance is optional for this age group. Municipal/communitychild centres are run by the local municipalities and communities. Parents pay a small fee for thesechild centres, though fees can be waived for certain categories of families. Private child centrescharge full fees.During the 2009/10 school year, there were 146 250 children from 4 to 5 years of age enrolled inpublic pre-primary schools and 11 658 in private ones. 36.3 % of the children aged four years oldattended public pre-primary schools while in private pre-primary schools, 21.7 % of the pupils were4 years of age.4. Compulsory education(i) PhasesEducation is compulsory from the age of 5 to 15 years and is divided into the following levels: Nipiagogeio (pre-primary education) 5-6 years of age Dimotiko scholeio (primary education) 6-12 years of age Gymnasio (lower secondary general education) 12-15 years of ageThere are also 3 years of lower secondary education provided by Evening Gymnasia (EsperinaGymnasia) that are geared to the needs of working pupils and enrol pupils from the age of14 years. In addition to these, operate various more specific lower secondary educational2/8 National system overview on education systems in Europe
  4. 4. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)institutions: ecclesiastic, minority, cross-cultural, peiramatika (Experimental), music, specialeducation Gymnasia etc.(ii) Admissions criteria 1Granted the pre-primary school attendance certificate ( ), enrolment in public primary education isbased solely on the pupil’s place of residence. The same rule applies to the lower secondaryschool level, with the prerequisite that the student has obtained a school-leaving certificate fromprimary school.All levels of public education in Greece is provided free of charge and all costs e.g. transportation,books are covered by the state budget. Families may choose to enrol their children in privateschools where full tuition fees are charged. Increase in school tuition fees by private schools arenegotiated with the General Secretariat for Commerce.(iii) Length of school day/week/yearThe school year comprises 175 days from the 11th of September to the 15th of June for primaryschools and to the 31th of May for lower secondary schools. Schools are open five days a week for35 weeks a year. Instructional hours range from 23 to 35 per week depending on the grade orlevel. Each instructional hour lasts from 40 to 50 minutes. The number of instructional hours for thetwo first grades of primary education is 25 per week, reaching 30 hours in the next four grades and35 hours for all three grades of lower secondary education.(iv) Class size/student groupingAccording to Ministerial Decisions, primary classes may have up to a maximum of 25 pupils; at thesecondary education level, classes comprise 25 pupils with an increment of 10 %. Pupils aregrouped by age, thus creating six grade levels in primary education and three in secondary. Allschools are mixed gender.Primary classes have one teacher for all subjects, with the exception of physical education, foreignlanguages and music which are taught by specialist teachers. Secondary education pupils havesubject teachers.(v) Curriculum control and contentThe national curricula for primary and secondary education are developed by the Education PolicyInstitute and approved by the Ministry of Education Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs. Thecurrent Cross-Thematic Curricular Framework for compulsory education and accompanying subjectsyllabi reflect a more inter-disciplinary approach to knowledge.At primary school level the national curriculum covers religion, Greek language, mathematics,history, environmental studies, geography, science, social and civic studies, arts studies (music etal.), two foreign languages and physical education. The program also includes a Flexible Zone forthe development of cross-curricular themes and creative activities.The above-mentioned subjects, except for environmental studies, are included in the lowersecondary school curriculum which also covers ancient Greek, chemistry, biology, information andcomputer technology, home economics, technology and school vocational guidance.Teachers are required to follow the national curriculum and to use the approved textbook for eachsubject while taking into account the particular needs and features of their classes as far as1() The pre-primary school certificate is granted to all pupils attended pre-primary school (Nipiagogeio) without restrictions. The attendance of pre-primary school is compulsory for 5-year-old children. Enrolment in a primary school requires first attendance of a pre-primary one.National system overview on education systems in Europe 3/8
  5. 5. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)teaching methods are concerned. At the beginning of each school year, the Education PolicyInstitute issues directions for teachers on teaching approaches and aims according to the subjectarea. The school textbooks, written according to the criteria set in the Cross-Thematic CurricularFramework, are evaluated by the Education Policy Institute and recommended to the Ministry ofEducation for final approval.(vi) Assessment, progression and qualificationsAt primary level, pupils are assessed by their teachers throughout the school year. Periodical andannual assessments are descriptive and also include letter grades from the third year of primaryschool.Pupils are promoted to the next grade, unless in cases of insufficient attendance or when a studenthas low achievements in grades 3-4 (marks D and below predominating among the final averagesfor the various subjects) and in grades 5-6 (overall average below 4.5 out of 10). Pupils completingthe sixth grade (end of primary school) receive the primary school leaving certificate (ApolytirioDimotikou) which is a prerequisite for admission to lower secondary school (Gymnasio).In lower secondary schools teachers assess pupils based on daily work, written tests, assignmentsand end-of-year written review examinations (Graptes Anakefalaiotikes Exetaseis).Promotion is based on achievement. The main criterion for progressing from one grade to anotheris the marks the pupil obtained in the A and B subject groups. The subjects of group A takeprecedence over those of group B playing an important role in the progression of pupils to the nextyear. Group B comprises physical education, art and music, economics, technology and schoolvocational guidance. All other subjects belong to group A.Pupils who achieve an overall passing grade, at the end of the third year of lower secondary schoolreceive a school-leaving certificate (Apolytirio Gymnasiou), which gives access to upper secondaryschool.5. Post-compulsory education/upper secondary and post- secondary level(i) Types of education Geniko Lykeio – G.L. (general upper secondary schools) 15-18 years of age Epaggelmatiko Lykeio – EPA.L. (vocational upper secondary schools) 15-18 years of age Epaggelmatikes Scholes – EPA.S (vocational training schools) 16-18 years of age Instituta Epaggelmatikis Katartisis or I.E.K. (Post-secondary non-tertiary 18 + years of age institutes)In 2009/10 of all upper secondary education pupils (day and evening school) 28.4 % enrolled invocational Lykeia and 71.5 % in general Lykeia. There are also alternative types of Lykeia (theEcclesiastic, Minority, Cross-Cultural, Peiramatika (Experimental), Music, Special Education etc.)During the school year 2010 – 2011, 314 216 pupils were enrolled in public day and eveningGeneral Lykeia, Vocational Lykeia and Vocational Schools while the respective number enrolled inprivate schools was 17 373.Upper secondary education is of three years (Lykeia) and there are twotypes of schools: the Geniko Lykeio providing general/academic studies and the EpaggelmatikoLykeio combining general education with technical-vocational studies. Upper Secondary EveningSchools (Esperino Geniko Lykeio) are addressed to working pupils over the age of 15. Attendanceis of a 4 year duration and includes grades Α΄, Β΄, C΄ and D.4/8 National system overview on education systems in Europe
  6. 6. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)The Epaggelmatikes Scholes are of two years and studies are organized according to thespecialty. Studies may extend to three years if on-the-job training is provided. Other Ministriesbesides the ministry of Education also operate such vocational training schools providing coursesin their area of responsibility.A new initiative of the Ministry of Education is the establishment of Technological Lykeia offeringspecializations according to the social and growing needs of the country. These are to eventuallyreplace the existing types of vocational Lykeia starting from the school year 2011/12. Pupilsenrolling in the first grade of the Vocational Lykeia in September 2011 will eventually complete theirstudies at the type of Technological LykeioThe post-secondary Instituta Epaggelmatikis Katartisis (I.E.K.) offer 4 semesters of initial vocationaltraining. In the case of vocational education graduates who followed a similar course, they offer2 semesters of further training. Certain courses of the I.E.K. can also enrol Gymnasio graduates.(ii) Admissions criteriaHolders of a lower secondary school-leaving certificate (Apolytirio Gymnasiou) may enrol in aGeniko or an Epaggelmatiko Lykeio according to their place of residence. Pupils who havesuccessfully completed the first year of Lykeio may then enrol in the first year of EpaggelmatikesScholes (EPA.S.); while Epaggelmatiko Lykeio pupils can also opt to enrol in a school outside theirplace of residence when it offers a special field they are interested in. Pupils are also able totransfer between Geniko and Epaggelmatiko Lykeio at the beginning of year two.Graduates of any type of post-compulsory secondary school, including vocational training schools,may enrol in public or private post-secondary Instituta Epaggelmatikis Katartisis (IEK) or in private‘Post-secondary Education Centres”. Adult graduates of compulsory education (evening or secondchance schools) may also enrol in an IEK, but only for certain courses.(iii) Curriculum control and contentThe Education Policy Institute sets national curricula for all upper secondary schools. Thecurriculum for the Geniko Lykeio includes general education subjects (modern and ancient Greeklanguage and literature, history, mathematics, sciences, religion, a foreign language, technology,social sciences, physical education) as well as electives and specialization subjects from year twowhich depend on the ‘stream’ followed (theoretic, scientific, technological).The curriculum of the Epaggelmatiko Lykeio includes general education subjects similar to theabove, as well as technical – vocational subjects that vary according to the stream followed(technological, services, and maritime).EPA.S. (Vocational School) curricula include technical – vocational subjects and workshopcourses. Class size in vocational education is limited to 25 pupils.The curricula of the Instituta Epaggelmatikis Katartisis (IEK) include both theoretical and practicalcomponents and emphasize on new methods and skills that broaden the occupational options ofadult pupils. The offered courses offerings are the result of an ongoing process of consultation withsocial partners and are based on the recommendations of the General Secretary of LifelongLearning (IEKs operate under its supervision) that consider regional labour market needs andtrends.(iv) Assessment, progression and qualificationsGeniko and Epaggelmatiko Lykeio students are assessed by teachers on the basis of theirparticipation in daily classroom work, their performance on tests and on end of the year finalNational system overview on education systems in Europe 5/8
  7. 7. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)examinations. To be promoted and to receive a Leaving Certificate (Apolytirio Lykeiou), students 2must have at least an average general mark of 9.5 out of 20 ( ).Besides the Apolytirio Lykeiou, a prerequisite for admission to tertiary education is achievementscore on another certificate called Vevaiosi which includes grades in six general education and‘stream’ subjects that are examined at the national level. The general achievement score on thisCertificate takes into account the final year school grade, school level evaluation and the grades onthe six subjects of the national level examinations.Epaggelmatiko Lykeio graduates acquire, in addition to the above, a level 3 vocational educationcertificate (Ptychio Epaggelmatikis Ekpaidefsis, epipedou 3) based on school level examinations.Assessment for promotion and graduation from the Epaggelmatikes Scholes is conducted at theschool level, and upon successful completion of their course, pupils receive a level 3 vocationaleducation certificate (Ptychio as above), which in addition to employment, allows them to enrol inpost secondary IEK.Trainees at IEK (Post Secondary non-Tertiary Education) are assessed by their instructors duringand upon completion of their training. Pupils who successfully complete an IEK course areawarded an Attestation of Training (Vevaiosi Epaggelmatikis Katartisis) and then participate inexternal examinations conducted by the competent national or local committees to obtain a post-secondary level Diploma of Vocational Training (Diploma Epaggelmatikis Katartisis, epipedoumetadeuterovathmias epaggelmatikis katartisis).6. Higher education(i) StructureAccording to Law 2916/2001, higher education consists of two parallel sectors: the Universitysector (Universities, Polytechnics, Schools of Fine Arts and the Open University) and theTechnological sector (Technological Educational Institutions/TEIs and the School of Pedagogic andTechnological Education).Law 3549/2007 regulates issues concerning governance of higher education along the generallines of increased participation, transparency, accountability and increased autonomy.The establishment of the International University of Greece aims at facilitating student mobility andincreasing the number of places offered in higher education, especially to foreign students. ThisUniversity will also offer distance learning courses.The Hellenic Open University provides distance undergraduate and postgraduate educationfacilitating adult education, by developing and using appropriate educational materials and teachingmethods.There are also State Non-university Tertiary Institutes, such as the Higher Ecclesiastical School orthe Merchant Marine Academies, offering vocationally oriented courses of shorter duration (2 to 3years) which operate under the authority of other Ministries.2() If this requirement is not met, Geniko Lykeio pupils are not admitted to the following grade or do not graduate. In this case: grade A and B pupils repeat the written examination in September, in all the subjects they failed to get an admission mark. If admission requirements are still not met, they have to repeat the year. Grade C pupils may either repeat attendance in grade C, or keep the term marks and take the written graduation tests for all subjects the following June. Sufficient attendance during the school year in question is also a prerequisite for promotion to the next grade or graduation. The situation is slightly different in Epaggelmatiko Lykeio mainly in relation to the grouping of subjects.6/8 National system overview on education systems in Europe
  8. 8. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)Since August 2011 and after public consultation a new law on higher education has been in forcecomprising three priorities:- New identity, new leadership and enforcement of the self-administration of institutions. New relationship based on reliance, accountability and responsibility among the institutions, the central services and the society.- Useful degrees: new organisation of learning and of study programmes facilitating mobility and enforcing interdisciplinary approaches.- Enforcement of the institutions national character in compliance with the new national development model: integrated national strategy on higher education internationalisation.(ii) AccessEntrance to the various Schools of the Universities (Panepistimio) and Technological EducationInstitutions (Technologiko Ekpaideftiko Idryma – TEI) depends on the general score obtained byLyceum graduates on the Vevaiosi, as described above (subsection 5.iv), on the number ofavailable places (numerus clausus) and on the candidates ranked preferences among schools andsections.(iii) QualificationsFirst cycle programmes last from four years for most fields to five years for engineering and certainother applied science fields and six years for medicine. Students who successfully complete theirstudies at Universities and Technological Educational Institutions are awarded a Ptychio (first cycledegree).The Ptychio leads to employment or further study at the post-graduate level that includes the oneyear second cycle leading to the second degree – Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis, equivalent tothe Masters degree – and the third cycle leading to the doctorate degree, Didaktoriko Diploma.7. Special needsLaw 3699/2008 established compulsory education for pupils with disabilities and specialeducational needs, affirming that it is an integral part of public free education and trying to promotethe principle of integrated education.Education for pupils with disabilities and special educational needs is provided in either mainstreamor special schools and extends from the pre-primary years to the age of 23.Diagnosis and assessment of special educational needs is provided by the interdisciplinary staff ofthe local Centres for Differential Assessment, Diagnosis and Support of Special Educational Needs(KEDDY) who are also responsible for recommending the most appropriate schooling type forpupils and drawing up an individualized educational program. The staff of these Centrescooperates closely with teachers of special needs pupils and provide a range of support servicesfor the pupils and the schools.According to the above assessment on the type and the degree of disability that a student has,they may be enrolled in: a) mainstream schools attending either the regular classroom with parallelsupport or special sections/classes of the school, or b) Special Education Schools. The SpecialEducation Schools cover pre-primary, primary and secondary education levels including vocationaleducation.According to the latest available data from the Ministry of Education, during the 2010/11 schoolyear, School Units of Special Education and Training of all levels and types comprised in totalNational system overview on education systems in Europe 7/8
  9. 9. Gr eec e (Sep tember 2 01 1)7 656 (23.3 %) pupils with special education needs. Special sections of regular schools comprised24 105 pupils (73.4 %) and regular classrooms of regular schools 1 100 (3.3 %) pupils with specialeducation needs.8. TeachersPre-primary and primary school teachers are degree (Ptychio) holders from a four-year university-level course, primarily from Pedagogic Schools. Lower and upper secondary education teachershold university degrees, Ptychia, in their specialist subject after completing a four-year course andtake a three-month introductory teacher training course upon appointment.Access to teaching posts from pre-primary to secondary level in the state sector is determined bycompetitive examinations administered by the Supreme Council for Civil Personnel Selection(ASEP).Teachers at all levels of the state sector are civil servants.Information provided by the Greek Eurydice Unit.For more detailed information on education systems in Europe, you may consult EURYPEDIAwhich provides descriptions of educational systems and policies in the Eurydice network countries: National system overview on education systems in Europe