The GREEK CASE-Official curriculum program

EARLY  CHILDHOOD AND PRESCHOOL EDUCATION

Firstly, as far as early childhood and preschool education is concerned, Nipiagogeio (pre-primary school) in Greece has become compulsory for all 4-year-old children, since school year 2018/19.  School year 2020/21 foresees the integration of the two-year compulsory pre-primary school in the few remaining municipalities.

Infant centres (vrefikoi stathmoi), infant/child centres (vrefonipiakoi stathmoi) and child centres (paidikoi stathmoi) represent early childhood care.  They are run under the remit of the municipal authorities.  They cater for children between the ages of 2 months and up to the age of the beginning of compulsory education.
As far as elementary education is concerned, Dimotiko scholeio (primary school) spans 6 years.  It concerns children in the age range of 6-12 years.
Since school year 2016/17, there is a single type of school with a new revised daily timetable.  Within this framework, all pre-primary and primary schools provide an optional all-day program.The Ministry of Education implements 3 different kinds of curriculum for the elementary schools:

  • Six-seat and above elementary school.
  • Five-seat elementary school.
  • Four-seat elementary school.
    The curriculum is unified for all schools of the same kind.
SECONDARY EDUCATION

As far as secondary education is concerned, there is Gymnasio (High School) as lower secondary school which is compulsory.It lasts 3 years and it provides general education. It covers ages 12-15 and it is a prerequisite for enrolling at general or vocational upper secondary schools, nor is either any special procedure e.g exams. Parallel to imerisio (day) gymnasio, esperino (evening) Gymnasio operates for which attendance starts at the age of 14.There are no special criteria to be admitted to high school.
The curriculum is unified for all schools of the same kind in high school. However, it is different between day Gymnasio and evening Gymnasio.
The school year spans from the 11th of September to the 30th of May. There are 35 teaching weeks (4weeks for Christmas and Easter break).

In the day Gymnasio there are 32 teaching hours weekly while in the evening Gymnasio there are 23 hours (there are no subjects such as art, music, home economics, technology, second language).
There are also private schools in both primary and high school level.

STEM EDUCATION

As far as STEM education in high school and Greece in general is concerned, the curriculum of STEM subjects in Gymnasio includes:
Maths: 4 hours per week for the 3 grades.
Physics: 1 hour per week for Grade A’, 2 hours per week for Grade B and C.
Chemistry: no hours in Grade A, 1 hour per week for Grade B and C.
Biology: 1 hour per week for the 3 grades.
Geography: 1 hour per week for Grade A, 2 hours per week for Grade B.
Informatics: 2 hours per week for Grade A, 1 hour per week for Grade B and C.
Technology: 1 hour per week for all Grades.
In June, students take exams. From the above STEM Subjects, they take exams to Maths, Physics and Biology.

Concerning the use of STEAM principles, we do not always use them and not in all subjects.
Teachers that are interested in STEAM education can be trained in STEAM through seminars that are held by various organizations (public or private). Teachers are also trained in STEAM education in universities through Training and the Lifelong Learning Center (KEDI.VI.M.) of the University of Αthens, the University of Thessaly, the University of Aegean etc.

School teachers in Greece are informed about STEAM education and its benefits. STEAM is a new area in education that gains fans more and more.
As STEAM encourages critical thinking, critical thinking is encouraged in high schools in Greece.
As STEAM consists of approaching technology among other courses,we have technological courses in Greek schools (Subjects: Technology and Informatics).
STEAM also includes art courses. And art is, also, taught (1 hour per week) for all Grades. Art is approached both theoretically and practically, with the major emphasis on the practical way.

STEAM includes an alternative approach to science lessons and in Greece, science lessons are, also, taught with a critical approach (exercise, experiments, labs).

STEAM includes engineering courses and as far as engineering courses are concerned, we offer physics and Informatics through robotics

As STEAM includes an alternative approach to Mathematics, in our country students are,also, encouraged to put forward their way of thinking when solving mathematical problems. In high school we try to get children to think of their own way of solving a problem. The best way to solve a problem is the one that the student thinks and not the one explained by the teacher as long as we are led to the right result.In life there are only problems and these we are called to solve and not exercises.But there is a double difficulty of the problem in relation to the exercise. That is, you must first turn the problem into a language of mathematics and then solve it.
To sum up, in general, Greek people know about STEAM education and believe in its benefits.
Moreover, I would like to add that after a year of pilot implementation, the “Skills workshops’ will be implemented in all high schools. One area they focus on is STEM education in order to enhance creative thinking, organizational ability and planning. The “Skills workshops” will be 1 hour per week for all Grades.

UNIVERSITIES

As far as the university sector (panepistimio) is concerned in Greece there exist:

•           Universities
•           Polytechnics
•           The School of Fine Arts.

In the technological sector:

•           Technologika ekpaideftika idrymata (technological education institutions)
•           The School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE).
It is noted that technological education institutions (TEI) have merged with higher education institutes (AEI).

Most undergraduate degree programs take 4 academic years of full-time study, except for the National Technological University of Athens, the Agricultural University of Athens, the School of Fine Arts and some other departments of the University which take 5 academic years. Medicine takes 6 academic years.If the student wishes, he can prolong his studies for two more years.

Postgraduate courses last from one to two years, while doctorates at least 3 years.
The quality of the degrees is measurable through The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) which supports evaluation of higher education programs.
As far as the equivalence of Greek Master’s degree with European degrees is concerned these are the departments in which the completion of the first cycle of studies organized in the said Departments, will lead to the award of a single and integral degree of integrated postgraduate level (integrated master) in the specialty of each Department. More specifically:
University of Athens (music studies), University of Ioannina (engineers), Aegean University (engineers), Agricultural University of Athens, University of Thrace (engineers, civil engineer), National Technical University of Athens, University of Patras (architects, engineers, civil engineers), University of Thesaloniki (architects, engineers), University of West Macedonia (engineers), University of Crete (architects, engineers), The School of Fine Arts.

There are both categories of Master’s, ones that you pay and ones that you don’t.
PhD students in Greece are paid.

Finally, our higher educational institutes have adopted the ECTS system.

GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM & POLICY

As far as the general educational program and policy is concerned, the Institution which creates the National Education Program is called I. E.P. and has in particular the following responsibilities:

a.         It issues opinion, in response to relevant queries submitted by the Ministry of Education, in relation to the following:
i.          educational policy formulation, modernisation and implementation in all types of school units,
ii.         primary and secondary education programmes of studies/ curricula, school books and teaching material,
iii.       teacher initial and in-service training, teaching staff selection, scholarship programmes,
iv.        evaluation of the administrative and educational structures of primary and secondary education,
v.         operation of Greek schools abroad,
vi.        education of expatriated Greeks, immigrants and refugees as well as intercultural education,
vii.       primary, secondary and post secondary education teacher training, training and certification policy of the training agencies.

Concerning the equivalence of foreign degrees to Greek ones, there is a special procedure for foreign degrees to be considered equivalent, which depends on the Degree and the Faculty.
For Basic Degree it is requested by the Interdisciplinary Organization for the Recognition of Academic Degrees and Information (DOATAP). The documents required are:
Responsible statement, deposit (money), copy of ID, Ηigh school diploma, consent form, basic degree to be recognized, UNIVERSITY CERTIFICATE, (Information about the study program and Certificate of Place of Study), COURSE CERTIFICATE

Concerning the option of schools to have an all-day program, only primary schools provide an optional all-day program (till 4:30pm).

As far as additional expenses for public education are concerned, textbooks in primary and high school are free and there are no additional expenses in public school.

LIFE LONG LEARNING

Concerning lifelong learning, it is provided at:

1.         Scholeia defteris efkairias (second chance schools – SDE)
2.         Institouta epangelmatikis katartisis (vocational training institutes – IEK)
3.         Epangelmatikes Scoles Katartisis and Epangelmatikes schools Mathitias OAED (vocational training schools, ESK and vocational training apprentiship schools, EPAS of OAED ).
4.         Kentra diaviou mathisis (lifelong learning centres, KDVM)
5.         Kollegia (colleges).

FOREIGN LANGUAGE SCHOOLS

There are also foreign language schools for students who do not speak Greek.

Finally, public and private schools ,except for the foreign language schools, have to apply the national educational program.
I would, also, like to add that the Greek educational system is centralised. National laws, presidential decrees and ministerial acts are prevalent within it.
At Central level, the central administrative body for the education system across all fields, agencies and levels is the Ministry of Education.
It takes the key decisions related to long-term objectives.  It also regulates various issues, such as curricula content, staff recruitment and funding.

Regional and local levels
At regional level, the regional education directorates oversee the implementation of the national educational policy.
At local level, the directorates of primary and secondary education supervise all schools in their area.  In their turn, school units make sure they run smoothly.

Teachers

Educational officials of the country are higher education graduates.
The main route into teaching in primary schools is to take a 4-year degree in a pedagogical department.
In secondary schools, most teachers follow a 4 or 5-year subject-based degree at a teacher education faculty.
Official curriculum program of partner’s country.
Firstly, as far as early childhood and preschool education is concerned, Nipiagogeio (pre-primary school) in Greece has become compulsory for all 4-year-old children, since school year 2018/19.  School year 2020/21 foresees the integration of the two-year compulsory pre-primary school in the few remaining municipalities.
Infant centres (vrefikoi stathmoi), infant/child centres (vrefonipiakoi stathmoi) and child centres (paidikoi stathmoi) represent early childhood care.  They are run under the remit of the municipal authorities.  They cater for children between the ages of 2 months and up to the age of the beginning of compulsory education.

As far as elementary education is concerned, Dimotiko scholeio (primary school) spans 6 years.  It concerns children in the age range of 6-12 years.
Since school year 2016/17, there is a single type of school with a new revised daily timetable.  Within this framework, all pre-primary and primary schools provide an optional all-day program.

The Ministry of Education implements 3 different kinds of curriculum for the elementary schools:

  • Six-seat and above elementary school.
  • Five-seat elementary school.
  • Four-seat elementary school.

The curriculum is unified for all schools of the same kind.

Secondary education

As far as secondary education is concerned, there is Gymnasio (High School) as lower secondary school which is compulsory.It lasts 3 years and it provides general education. It covers ages 12-15 and it is a prerequisite for enrolling at general or vocational upper secondary schools, nor is either any special procedure e.g exams. Parallel to imerisio (day) gymnasio, esperino (evening) Gymnasio operates for which attendance starts at the age of 14.There are no special criteria to be admitted to high school.

The curriculum is unified for all schools of the same kind in high school. However, it is different between day Gymnasio and evening Gymnasio.

The school year spans from the 11th of September to the 30th of May. There are 35 teaching weeks (4weeks for Christmas and Easter break)

In the day Gymnasio there are 32 teaching hours weekly while in the evening Gymnasio there are 23 hours (there are no subjects such as art, music, home economics, technology, second language).

There are also private schools in both primary and high school level.

STEM EDUCATION IN HIGH SCHOOL

As far as STEM education in high school and Greece in general is concerned, the curriculum of STEM subjects in Gymnasio includes:

Maths: 4 hours per week for the 3 grades.
Physics: 1 hour per week for Grade A’, 2 hours per week for Grade B and C.
Chemistry: no hours in Grade A, 1 hour per week for Grade B and C.
Biology: 1 hour per week for the 3 grades.
Geography: 1 hour per week for Grade A, 2 hours per week for Grade B
Informatics: 2 hours per week for Grade A, 1 hour per week for Grade B and C.
Technology: 1 hour per week for all Grades.

In June, students take exams. From the above STEM Subjects, they take exams to Maths, Physics, and Biology.
Concerning the use of STEAM principles, we do not always use them and not in all subjects.

Teachers that are interested in STEAM education can be trained in STEAM through seminars that are held by various organizations (public or private). Teachers are also trained in STEAM education in universities through Training and the Lifelong Learning Center (KEDI.VI.M.) of the University of Αthens, the University of Thessaly, the University of Aegean, etc.
School teachers in Greece are informed about STEAM education and its benefits. STEAM is a new area in education that gains fans more and more.
As STEAM encourages critical thinking, critical thinking is encouraged in high schools in Greece.
As STEAM consists of approaching technology among other courses,we have technological courses in Greek schools (Subjects: Technology and Informatics).
STEAM also includes art courses. And art is, also, taught (1 hour per week) for all Grades. Art is approached both theoretically and practically, with the major emphasis on the practical way.
STEAM includes an alternative approach to science lessons and in Greece, science lessons are, also, taught with a critical approach (exercise, experiments, labs).
STEAM includes engineering courses and as far as engineering courses are concerned, we offer physics and Informatics through robotics

As STEAM includes an alternative approach to Mathematics, in our country students are, also, encouraged to put forward their way of thinking when solving mathematical problems. In high school, we try to get children to think of their own way of solving a problem. The best way to solve a problem is the one that the student thinks about and not the one explained by the teacher as long as we are led to the right result. In life, there are only problems, and these we are called to solve and not exercise. But there is a double difficulty of the problem in relation to the exercise. That is, you must first turn the problem into a language of mathematics and then solve it.

To sum up, in general, Greek people know about STEAM education and believe in its benefits

Moreover, I would like to add that after a year of pilot implementation, the “Skills workshops’ will be implemented in all high schools. One area they focus on is STEM education in order to enhance creative thinking, organizational ability and planning. The “Skills workshops” will be 1 hour per week for all Grades.

University sector

As far as the university sector (panepistimio) is concerned in Greece there exist:

•           Universities
•           Polytechnics
•           The School of Fine Arts.

In the technological sector:
•           Technologika ekpaideftika idrymata (technological education institutions)
•           The School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE).

It is noted that technological education institutions (TEI) have merged with higher education institutes (AEI).

Most undergraduate degree programs take 4 academic years of full-time study, except for the National Technological University of Athens, the Agricultural University of Athens, the School of Fine Arts and some other departments of the University which take 5 academic years. Medicine takes 6 academic years.If the student wishes, he can prolong his studies for two more years.

Postgraduate courses last from one to two years, while doctorates at least 3 years.
The quality of the degrees is measurable through The European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) which supports evaluation of higher education programs.
As far as the equivalence of Greek Master’s degree with European degrees is concerned these are the departments in which the completion of the first cycle of studies organized in the said Departments, will lead to the award of a single and integral degree of integrated postgraduate level (integrated master) in the specialty of each Department. More specifically:
University of Athens (music studies), University of Ioannina (engineers), Aegean University (engineers), Agricultural University of Athens, University of Thrace (engineers, civil engineer), National Technical University of Athens, University of Patras (architects, engineers, civil engineers), University of Thesaloniki (architects, engineers), University of West Macedonia (engineers), University of Crete (architects, engineers), The School of Fine Arts.

There are both categories of Master’s, ones that you pay and ones that you don’t.

PhD students in Greece are paid.

Finally, our higher educational institutes have adopted the ECTS system.

General educational program and policy

As far as the general educational program and policy is concerned, the Institution which creates the National Education Program is called I. E.P. and has in particular the following responsibilities:

a.         It issues opinion, in response to relevant queries submitted by the Ministry of Education, in relation to the following:
i.          educational policy formulation, modernisation and implementation in all types of school units,
ii.         primary and secondary education programmes of studies/ curricula, school books and teaching material,
iii.       teacher initial and in-service training, teaching staff selection, scholarship programmes,
iv.        evaluation of the administrative and educational structures of primary and secondary education,
v.         operation of Greek schools abroad,
vi.        education of expatriated Greeks, immigrants and refugees as well as intercultural education,
vii.       primary, secondary and post secondary education teacher training, training and certification policy of the training agencies.

Concerning the equivalence of foreign degrees to Greek ones, there is a special procedure for foreign degrees to be considered equivalent, which depends on the Degree and the Faculty.

For Basic Degree it is requested by the Interdisciplinary Organization for the Recognition of Academic Degrees and Information (DOATAP). The documents required are:
Responsible statement, deposit (money), copy of ID, Ηigh school diploma, consent form, basic degree to be recognized, UNIVERSITY CERTIFICATE, (Information about the study program and Certificate of Place of Study), COURSE CERTIFICATE.
Concerning the option of schools to have an all-day program, only primary schools provide an optional all-day program (till 4:30pm).

As far as additional expenses for public education are concerned, textbooks in primary and high school are free and there are no additional expenses in public school.

Concerning lifelong learning, it is provided at:
1.         Scholeia defteris efkairias (second chance schools – SDE)
2.         Institouta epangelmatikis katartisis (vocational training institutes – IEK)
3.         Epangelmatikes Scoles Katartisis and Epangelmatikes schools Mathitias OAED (vocational training schools, ESK and vocational training apprentiship schools, EPAS of OAED )
4.         Kentra diaviou mathisis (lifelong learning centres, KDVM)
5.         Kollegia (colleges).

There are also foreign language schools for students who do not speak Greek.

Finally, public and private schools ,except for the foreign language schools, have to apply the national educational program.

I would, also, like to add that the Greek educational system is centralised. National laws, presidential decrees and ministerial acts are prevalent within it.

At Central level, the central administrative body for the education system across all fields, agencies and levels is the Ministry of Education.

It takes the key decisions related to long-term objectives.  It also regulates various issues, such as curricula content, staff recruitment and funding.

Regional and local levels

At regional level, the regional education directorates oversee the implementation of the national educational policy.
At local level, the directorates of primary and secondary education supervise all schools in their area.  In their turn, school units make sure they run smoothly.

Teachers
Educational officials of the country are higher education graduates.
The main route into teaching in primary schools is to take a 4-year degree in a pedagogical department.
In secondary schools, most teachers follow a 4 or 5-year subject-based degree at a teacher education faculty.

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The GREEK CASE-Official curriculum program

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