Educational System in Greece

The Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) was created by the United Nations in
September 2012. This initiative is designed to help better education everywhere by focusing on
three areas deemed important. First, the goal is to put every child in school. The GEFI has found
that some of the major barriers to school enrolment and completion are: unaffordable costs,
shortage of classrooms, humanitarian emergencies/conflict, gender discrimination, and child
labor (Put Every Child in School, n.d.). Quality of learning is also a huge issue facing school
systems across the globe. The UN estimates that we need “an additional 1.6 million teachers to
achieve universal primary education in 2015” (Improve Quality of Learning, n.d.). Language
barriers, malnutrition, ineffective evaluation of school systems, lack of learning materials, and
weak early childhood learning are all other factors that
effect children’s education (Improve Quality of
Learning, n.d.). The final priority for the Global
Education First Initiative is fostering global
citizenship. Combined, these three initiatives are
designed to improve education for every child and
foster the desire to learn and grow as a global citizen.
So how does the educational system in Greece fair
when it comes putting every student in school, quality
of learning, and global education?
The Greek Constitution states that the
government is required to offer free and mandatory
educational services for all children ages 6 to 15 (The
Greece's Education System Chart 1

Educational System of Greece, 2014). Children attend kindergarten at age 5, and then transition
to elementary school. Gymnasium is the final stage of required school for student’s ages 13-15
years of age and has three grade levels. Something unique to Greece, is that students from this
point have the option to either attend “senior high school”, named Lykeion, which prepares them
for university, or Technical Vocational Educational Institutes for workplace training. The chart
to the right shows the pathways children in Greece can take to get to University and the
workforce. In terms of providing education for every student, Greece constitutionally must
provide everyone an education.
Recently, Greece has come under fire for having one of the worst educational systems in
the European Union. Greece is currently in 33rd place out of the 39 countries in the European
Union (Greek Education Ranked Worst in the EU, May 8, 2104). The ranking is based off of an
assessment that combines school evaluations and the international test knows as Program for
International Student Assessment (PISA). According to the ranking, students PISA test scores
are getting worse, largely in part to the economic crisis happening in Greece currently. Student’s
quality of learning is compromised when schools are not properly funded; the Education
Minister Constantions Arvanitopoulos has said that educational spending has been slashed by 35
percent (Greek Education Ranked Worst in the EU, May 8, 2104).
In terms of the three priorities
put in place by the UN, Greece
succeeds in certain areas, but falls flat
in others. Greece students have the
potential to be global leaders because of
their access to many forms of higher

Protesters arguing budget cuts in Greece 1

learning, including University. Every child does have access to schooling, but unfortunately the
quality of learning is falling short. Budget cuts, and poor testing have caused Greece to be one of
lowest scoring educational systems. Due to the economic crisis, not enough attention is being
placed on the importance of education.

Works Cited:
Put Every Child in School. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2014, from
Improve Quality of Learning. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2014, from
The Educational System of Greece. (2014). Retrieved November 3, 2014,
Greek education ranked worst in the EU. (2014, May 8). Retrieved November 3, 2014, from