Each time, referring to various historical sources, we can see that the level of education and science in ancient Greece was the most advanced at that time. It was a country with developed art, science and culture, as can be judged preserved manuscripts and sculptures.
Initially, the Greek education system consisted of 3 main levels:
- initial cycle of education;
- middle cycle of education;
- high educational cycle.
In 1997, UNESCO adopted the classification levels and now the system comprises 7 levels as follows:
- pre-school education;
- primary school;
- secondary school;
- middle school;
- high school / college;
- doctoral program.
Primary education in Greece begins in kindergarten, or “zero level” – as otherwise called. The purpose of kindergarten is to support and strengthen the educational process conducted by the family. The main task, which adheres to the system of education in Greece in early childhood education is to strengthen the psychokinetic, social, emotional, intellectual and moral qualities of the young children.
There are various centers which operate all day long with classes for small children from 4 to 6 years, the number of which is constantly growing. Kindergarten is a preliminary step that helps children prepare for elementary school.
The first elementary school lasts 6 years, starting at 6 and ending at 12 years. The purpose of the primary school is to give the child a balanced physical and mental development. And regardless of gender, children can participate in public school life.
There is an increasing number of primary schools that can provide in-depth training programs. Apart from all these institutions giving primary education, there are schools for children with disabilities. Since 1996, Greece began to emerge as country taking into account the religious, cultural and social identity of pupils.
Students graduated from elementary school receive a certificate that is subsequently sent to the gymnasium, where they continue their education further. Gymnasiums represent the second level of education (which also approved by the Ministry of Education in Greece), where children are taught at the age of 12-15 years. Students need to pass a special transfer exam at the end of each school year, otherwise they are left for the second year.
High school graduates receive a special certificate that gives the opportunity to continue their study at the lyceum. Those graduates who are 18 years old can enroll to vocational training programs.
Further up the educational chain is lyceum which consists of 3 classes. Students who achieved great marks in high school are accepted to Lyceum without prior examination. Upon completion of all three classes the graduate is issued a certificate of complete secondary education.
The higher education in Greece provides for a wide selection of topics studied. In addition to the main technical and humanitarian faculties, some institutes offer courses in arts, religion, tourism, navy, and public science.
The main requirement for admission to University is the availability of a certificate of complete secondary education. On admission applicants must pass an entry exam, which consists of two parts: written and oral examinations.
All foreign students can get a free education in Greece, but the main criteria for admission is a good knowledge of the Greek language. Fortunately there are hundreds of good language courses that will improve your language skills at low cost.
The period of study at the University may take up to 4 years, with few faculties taking even longer. The academic year consists of two semesters, each lasting 13 weeks. After the end of 4th year of study, students must pass exams of professional suitability, after which they are granted their academic degree.
The very last stage is doctoral education. The admission is open only to those graduated from University and the study can take a few years. Those who wish to enroll should demonstrate perfection at least in one foreign language.
We hope this article has familiarized you with educational system in Greece, and perhaps, convinced you to visit this wonderful country!