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).