Monday , June 17 2024
Home / News / Politics / Greece / Education: 1:3 Greek pupils below EU average, Commission report finds

Education: 1:3 Greek pupils below EU average, Commission report finds

One in three Greek pupils under the age of 15 under-perform in basic studies, compared to a European Union average of 20 percent, according to the findings of the European Commission “Education and Training Monitor 2019” published on Thursday.

According to the report, 27.3% of Greek pupils have below the average reading skills, 35.8% percent underachieve in math, while 32.7% perform inadequately in the sciences.

Highlights of the report on Greece

The teaching profession is highly attractive in Greece but opportunities and incentives to improve professionalism are lacking. Education expenditure is lower than in most EU countries and largely spent on salaries. Early school leaving has been further reduced, particularly in rural areas. Finding employment after education remains difficult, including for highly qualified people. Measures to tackle the brain drain of tertiary graduates are being implemented but internationalisation of Greek universities is underdeveloped.

Greece might have almost one fifth fewer school children within 20 years. It is estimated that the proportion of children aged 3-18 will shrink by 12% by 2030 and by almost 20% by 20406. This could provide an opportunity to improve the quality and efficiency of the education system. In addition, Greece will need to invest in providing lifelong learning opportunities to address low skills levels across the population.

The digital school is not yet a reality and digital skills are underdeveloped. An impressive amount of digital educational content has been developed in Greece in recent years and information and communications technology (ICT)features in curricula of all levels.

High broadband speed(>100 mbps) exists in 11% of Greek primary schools, 15% of lower secondary and 19% of upper secondary schools. However, infrastructure impediments related to connectivity and up-to-date equipment exist.

The share of schools with both strong policy and supporting digital education is lower in Greece at all levels compared to the European average.Thus,digitally trained teachers are still likely to encounter difficulties in using their skills in the classroom.

Among the general population, 46% of people aged 16-74 reported to have at least basic digital skills, below the EU average of 57%. Among the rest, 31% of individual do not have digital skills at all (EU average: 17%). ICT specialists, especially women, and ICT graduates are fewer than on average in the EU8. The National Coalition for Digital Skills, launched in June 2018, has set up several initiatives to upgrade digital skills among the public, SMEs and civil servants.

According to an EC statement, the Monitor demonstrates the common challenges that EU Member States face to attract and maintain the best teaching professionals. This challenge is expected to become all the more prominent during the next decade, during which a wave of retirements of experienced teachers is expected.

European countries have made great progress towards expanding participation in education since the establishment of EU benchmarks in 2009 as part of this process.

However, approximately 20% of 15 year old pupils across Europe still remain at risk of educational poverty, as they do not possess basic competences in literacy and mathematics or sufficient knowledge of science subjects.

Additional priority areas for monitoring include: language skills and adult learning, teachers, investment in education and training, ICT education, entrepreneurship in education, and vocational education and training (VET).

Full EC report here, for each EU country here
Report on Greece here

Check Also

New lawsuit filed against ND ministers for Tempi train tragedy

A new lawsuit filed against former transport minister Kostas Karamanlis and his deputy Michalis Papadopoulos …


  1. And today, in Ontario, we are told that 10,000 teachers are projected to be unemployed in the next 5 years because we have a conservative government that wants to be more “efficient” and save money.

    Sadly, the largest expense in any education budget is salary. We now have class sizes of 39 in the secondary level (not all classes, but many); we have more limited options for students to choose – any subject deemed non-essential has been cut but that also includes, ironically, STEM classes which are a focus for this government.

    Teachers here are observed and have their performance appraised every 5 years or less. We are expected to do extra curricular activities. We are expected to provide help (not at a frontistirio – while we have them, students don’t really use them [especially as you can’t claim the cost on income tax]) to students before, after, during school, during lunch or at whatever time is mutually convenient to both parties.

    Teachers are expected to attend PD every year, at least once. Teachers are expected to make accommodations for their students and to have students present the work in a variety of ways. None of this “parroting” of information and memorization of paragraphs.

    Students work in groups, do problem based learning, do inquiry based learning, have choice in what to read, what to research, and how to present that research. They are expected to know and use PowerPoint or any of the Google products {slides, docs, sheets}.

    When I was last in Greece, I mentioned all this to another teacher and she was absolutely horrified and said that it was “too much work”. She teaches the minimum and then also teaches frontistirio. That would get me fired.

    We also have hungry students, poor students, students living in horrible circumstances – and we try to help them as much as possible. Without having other students know about their straitened circumstances.

    I’m just laying out the typical working conditions. You can draw whatever conclusions you like from them.

  2. During the height of the crisis the EU declared that greek universities and polytechnics were totally deficient in all sectors.
    Both my husband and I were (separately) on EU inspection committees for the architecture and engineering faculties and the inspection team produced glowing reports. They also commented that far from being spendthrift the universities and polytechnics operated on one tenth of the administration budget of northern universities. We heard that similar glowing reports had been issued for a variety of faculties – mathematics, history, economics and of course theology and archeology.

    Yet NONE of this made it into the EU statements since it would have spoiled their narrative.
    Thus, I wonder to what degree this particular “report” is valid, or just a replay.