Greek PM Announces Changes in Education System

“We believe that all Greek people have the right to a modern public education system,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said upon visiting the Ministry of Education.

The prime minister visited the ministry in order to announce the changes in the education system that will apply within the next three years. He said that education will be centered on learning and not examinations.

The changes in the education system are based on five pillars:

1. Strengthening elementary schools.

2. Upgrading the importance of high school

3. Improving the examination system for admission to universities

4. Improving junior and technical colleges with more resources and changes

5. Investing in research and technical knowledge

“Starting in September, the all-day school system will apply in all elementary schools, all 830 of them in every corner of our country,” Tsipras said. He also announced that the new system will have 14 years of compulsory education starting with pre-nursery school and nursery school. “No child age 4 and up will be left out of school, even in the most remote village,” he said.

Furthermore, the prime minister said that the number of pupils in each class will be reduced and in two years there will be no class with more than 22 students.

The prime minister also reiterated a recent statement by Education Minister Costas Gavroglou that there will be major changes in curricula, particularly in History, Religion and Technical courses.

A major change will take place in the university and college entry exam system: “We are going through a radical upgrading of the last two grades of high school that will lead to the abolition of entry exams,” Tsipras said.

The prime minister also announced that in the coming days the government will bring to Parliament a bill on higher education, which will enable students who have no financial means to attend free postgraduate programs. In addition, he referred to changes in university administration management, with “increased participation” by students.

Also, Tsipras said, the ministry will establish the University of Western Attica through the merger of the Technological Educational Institutions of Athens and Piraeus, which will provide two-year European professional qualification programs for graduates of vocational high schools.