Let me start off by saying that all branches of education in Greece, are free! Recently, there was a modification concerning postgraduate programs, but it generated great discussion and is rather unsure on whether the fees will stay or not.Additionally, this is an overview mainly focused on the university level, not an analysis of the greek system and its flows.
These are the basic, boring facts that one should know in a small overview attempt:
1.The education system in Greece is centralized, with all levels falling under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs (“Ypourgeio Paideias, dia Biou Mathisis kai Thriskeumaton”). And yes, it is considered as rather odd the fact that education and religion are in the same branch (where often one tries to control the other and the debate among their separation is always hot)2.Education until the age of 15 is compulsory but under the crisis period, the percentage of illiterates has been dramatically increased hence a lot of children chose to drop out on school in order to assist their families.
3.Whereas in the primary education level one can find kindergarten and primary school, on the secondary level stage 1 is the Compulsory Lower Level Secondary Education provided in Gymnasiums and stage 2 is the Post-compulsory or Upper Secondary Education which is offered by the Unified Lyceums (“Eniaio Lykeio”) and Technical Vocational Educational Schools (“Techniko Epaggelmatiko Ekpaideftirio – TEE”).Major concerns are about the methods used with the arguments being that there is not a lot of emphasis given in the development of critical thought and the expenses (hence most of the families prefer tutoring to ensure success at the final stage) that are extremely high.
4.In the final stage, and after the procedure of panhellenic exams (similar mentality to baccalaureate ) there are 22 Universities, including Polytechnic Schools, the School of Fine Arts and the Hellenic Open University (EAP), 14 Technological Educational Institutes (T.E.I.) and the School of Pedagogic and Technological Education (ASPETAI).There are also Higher Ecclesiastical Schools, supervised by the Ministry of Education and other higher education institutions mainly supervised by other Ministries (for example Merchant Marine Academies are under the supervision of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, Higher Military Education Schools that are under the supervision of the Ministry of Defense, and Higher Police Academies are under the supervision of the Ministry of Public Order).
Veni Vidi, Graduated :
After having obtained your greek degree, you may wonder upon its value: Allow me to surprise you once again and tell you that it remains of a high value with pretty satisfactory rates given the fact that the emphasis is given on all aspects, but sometimes due to lack of state to the art facilities, you may have to be extra innovative-sometimes this works miraculously! It's rather happy to see that innovation still flourishes and a lot of respective competitions (on virtual entrepreneurship-innovation etc) are won by Greek teams!
Mommy, why is Troika(Institutions) shutting down my school?
Unfortunately, in order for the governments to meet the expectations of the memoranda, they have to cut off on human resources in many sections, education included.This resulted in the temporary closure of research related facilities until new contracts were signed.Yes, it is pretty bad to stop your project for a certain period of time because the supervisor got fired, but still, one has to learn to adapt!
Dad, is it safe for me to study there?
Student demonstrations have been rather often on the news-most of the times the reason to protest is connected to reduce of governmental fundings or measures that limit the current "free and open to all " character of the Greek universities. But, there is no need to worry since almost all of them are perfectly organized and guarded by the police.
Um, why is my classmate of another color and wears a funny scarf on his/her head?
The refugee crisis brought the country in front of a debate "Should refugee children attend Greek Schools or not?''An unprecedented number of parents doesn't want this to happen, however, the official governmental policy is that whoever is vaccinated is capable of attending, since you can't restrict the right to one's education. Allow me to add only this -the supplies are sufficient for only one person per day and according to recent studies of NGOs such as and not limited to Doctors of the World,Medecins Sans Frontiers etc, not all of the greek students had the follow ups of the vaccinations required since they are rather pricey.
So, what's going to happen? No one knows! It is true that the financial crisis put a stop in the upgrade of facilities and rendered research difficult but there is a sufficient enough structure to keep on as soon as funds are put to good use again.
All and all, Greece is always a fascinating place in the heart of updates :)
And some extra reading in case you feel like doing so :
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