EU Report Finds Number of School Dropouts Decreases in Greece; Average Scores Drop



The annual EU Education and Training Monitor for 2019 was published by the European Commission on Thursday, revealing some very interesting results about the situation of education across the Union and of course in Greece.

According to this year’s report, Greece has managed to significantly curtail the number of students who leave school early.

The EU had set a target to reduce this number to under ten percent by the year 2018. The figures for Greece, however, showed an enormous decrease in the dropout rate, with only 4.7 percent of its students leaving school early in 2018, compared to 14.2 percent in 2009.

Surprisingly, the overall high school dropout rate for the EU overall is much higher.

From a high of 14.2 percent in 2009, the average EU dropout rate decreased to 10.2 percent in 2018.

The bad news for Greece comes in the area of Greek students who are underachieving in terms of their grades.

According to this year’s EU report, many more 15-year olds in Greece are underachieving in their test scores in the subjects of Mathematics, Reading, and Science compared to the EU average.

The grades for both Europeans overall, and Greek students in particular, who were not scoring up to average marks rose between 2009 and 2018. But the number of Greek students who did not perform well in these three core subject areas soared.

In 2009, 21.3% of Greek students were underachieving in the subject of reading, 30.4% had low marks in Mathematics and 25.3% scored lower than average in Science.

The same figures for 2018 jumped to 27.3 percent, 35.8 percent, and 32.7 percent accordingly.

This means that more than one out of three students in Greece have problems understanding Math and Science, while more than one in four have issues with their reading abilities.

The EU average of underachieving students on these three subject areas varies from 19.7 to 22.2 percent, much higher than the target, which was set to be under 15% by the year 2018.

In a shocking turn, public expenditures on education were also seen to have dropped across the Union between 2009 and 2018.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the average amount of school expenditures dropped more in the EU overall than in Greece itself: public expenditures for education in Greece dropped from 4.1% in 2009 to 3.9% in 2018, while the EU average decreased from 5.1% to 4.6% during the same period.

This is believed to show the impact of fiscal austerity which was experienced across the EU during those years.