Greek families are paying a whopping €3 billion ($3.5 billion) a year on private education, according to a report published this week.
The GSEE labor union’s Center of Educational Policy Development claimed that despite the availability of free public education, parents pay for university entrance prep schools, foreign language schools, art or computer classes as well as study in other Greek cities.
According to the center’s latest data (from 2015), private school tuition and fees take the lion’s share of all educational expenditures (€792,331,939), followed by foreign language schools (€621,164,425) and transfers of funds for college students studying in cities away from home (€554,681,971).
If expenses for private lessons to augment school studies or prepare for exams, as well as and university prep schools (‘frondistiria’), are added together, the report said, the cost totals €753,633,197.
Additional expenses include the purchase of textbooks and materials for art (€176 million) and computers (€184 million).
The economic crisis does not appear to have affected expenditures for education in Greek families, according to 2015 data.
Although parents reduced expenses for babysitters, preschool teachers and other coach-related specialists by 50 percent, book and desk supplies by 35 percent and transfers of funds domestically by 33 percent, expenses for frondstiria were reduced by 1.1 percent at most, between 2013 and 2015.