Greece Primary and Secondary Education
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Article Sixteen of the 1975 constitution states that "the goal of education is the moral, intellectual, professional, and physical development of their [the students'] national and religious consciousness so that they become free and responsible citizens." To accomplish this goal, nine years of education, normally accomplished from ages six through fifteen, are free and compulsory. Of the compulsory years, the first six are in primary school, the next three in a gymnasium; an additional three secondary years (in a college-preparatory lyceum--pl., lycea) are optional but also free of charge. Students on the college-preparatory track may choose a classical or a scientific option, the latter of which is also offered by technical schools.
All state schools are coeducational, and since 1976 instruction in secondary schools has been in demotic Greek rather than the formal Katharevousa. (This change was made in primary grades in 1964.)
Preschool is also free for children between the ages of three and one-half to five and one-half years, an option taken up mainly in urban areas. Urbanization increased preschool enrollments in the 1970s and the 1980s, although fewer than half the children in that age-group attended in 1992 (see table 5, Appendix). After the reform of 1976 added the formerly optional first three years of secondary school to the compulsory program, enrollment in the first stage of secondary school increased sharply. But enrollment in the optional secondary stage dropped during that period because the reform of 1977 channeled many students out of the college preparatory line into secondary technical institutions.
Following its reorganization in 1977, the technical and vocational training system offers three options: a technical lyceum, a public or private secondary school, or a postsecondary center for higher technical and vocational education. The technical lycea offer programs in chemical, electrical, mechanical, or metallurgical engineering; business administration; architectural design; social services; and agriculture. Graduates can then attend a higher vocational training school or seek employment in their specialty. The 1977 reform also sought to raise the status of all technical schools by including nontechnical curricula and upgrading their standards for examinations and faculty credentials.
Promotion to the lyceum is automatic for graduates of the gymnasium. Prior to completion of the gymnasium, the Panhellenic Examinations are administered in two stages, at the end of grades eleven and twelve, to determine eligibility for university enrollment.
In 1989 some 93 percent of children in the primary school age range were enrolled in school, and 87 percent of children in the secondary range were enrolled. A total of 13,229 preschools and primary schools had an estimated enrollment of 976,444, and 3,468 secondary schools enrolled 843,732 students. Fewer than 10 percent of primary and secondary students attend private schools. Religious schools do not exist because religious instruction is compulsory for Greek Orthodox students in public schools. In 1989 the male-to- female ratio in primary and secondary schools was fifty-two males to forty-eight females.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece Primary and Secondary Education information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece Primary and Secondary Education should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.