Greek educational system
Stages of the education system
Compulsory education lasts 11 years and extends from the ages of 4 to 15. The stages of the Greek education are mainly 3:
1) Primary education
Primary education includes pre-primary and primary schools.
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.
Primary education is the next stage. 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 programme.
2) Secondary education
Secondary education includes two cycles of study:
The first one is compulsory and corresponds to gymnasio (lower secondary school).
- It lasts 3 years
- It provides general education
- It covers ages 12-15
- It is a prerequisite for enrolling at general or vocational upper secondary schools
- Parallel to day gymnasio, evening (esperino) gymnasio operates. Attendance starts at the age of 14.
The second one is the optional geniko or epangelmatiko lykeio (general or vocational upper secondary school).
- It lasts 3 years
- Pupils enrol at the age of 15
- There are two different types:
- Geniko (general) lykeio. It lasts 3 years and includes both common core subjects and optional subjects of specialisation
- Epangelmatiko (vocational) lykeio. It offers two cycles of studies:
- The secondary cycle
- The optional post-secondary cycle, the so-called “apprenticeship class”.
Parallel to day lykeia, there are also:
- Esperina genika (evening general) lykeia
- Esperina epangelmatika (evening vocational) lykeia.
- Institouta epangelmatikis katartisis – IEK (vocational training institutes) are the main providers of post-secondary non-tertiary education. They operate in the non-formal education framework. They lead to the acquisition of nationally recognised certificates.
- Kollegia (colleges) provide non-formal post-secondary education and training and are part of the private sector. They award degrees, titles, study certificates or any other certificate which can be recognised as professionally equivalent to higher education degrees awarded by the Greek formal education system.
3) Tertiary education
Higher education is the last level of the formal education system. Most undergraduate degree programmes take 4 academic years of full-time study.
Postgraduate courses last from one to two years, while doctorates at least 3 years.
The university sector (panepistimio):
The School of Fine Arts.