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All-day kindergartens, primary schools to run until 17:30 as of September, says Education Minister

A pilot program extending all-day kindergartens and primary schools to 17:30 will go into effect as of September, Education Minister Niki Kerameus told a congress on demographics named “Demographics 2022: The great challenge” on Wednesday.

Kerameus said the pilot program is addressed to all students of these ages throughout Greece, without any qualification requirements. It aims at helping working parents and at improving the quality of studies, with an emphasis on creative arts and music, while also helping children complete their homework.

The purpose, she said, is to allow more time at home for play and interacting with family members.

Citing recent statistics, the Education minister said a drop in primary school first-graders of 16.5%-17% was recorded in the last five years, and noted that supporting families was key in dealing with the demographic issue.

One of the support measures currently includes a 2,000-euro bonus to each newborn, a subsidy that “has benefited over 200,000 children the last 2.5 years,” she said.

According to state-run news agency amna, the extension measure will initially include 50% of kindergartens and primary schools already operating on a full-time schedule, or at 5,000 units in Greece.

At the same congress a few hours earlier, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had announced that extension operation would be until 6 p.m. and everyvody understand it would affect all kindergardebs and primary schools.

Late in the evening state broadcaster ERT reported that goal is to extend operation hours until 6 p.m.

A total of  3,000 teachers are expected to be hired for the new scheme.

Currently all-day kindergartens and primary schools end at 4 o’ clock in the afternoon.

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8 comments

  1. It sounds good in theory. I would argue that it is needed in the older grades as well. I can’t tell you how much it disturbs me that my daughter ends school around 1:30/2, and then she goes to a private frontistirio (tutoring school) which is costly, for 2 hours in order to learn what she didn’t learn in school.
    Every time I have questioned this model, I am told that the students need the tutoring school or they won’t learn at all. I keep wondering why the public schools can’t teach them.

    • Because if the teachers taught them effectively in the public schools then there would be no need to send the kids to frontistirios and those same teachers wouldn’t get paid by the frontistirio for teaching them what they should have already taught them in public school.

      • keeptalkinggreece

        next to teachers, main responsibility in on Education ministry. Example: you must be super genius to pass university exams if no frontistirio.

    • My mom, Greek born, never went to frontistirio because they couldn’t afford it. She got into university. Never mind that she emigrated after before she could complete her schooling.

      In Toronto, the expectation is that the teacher will make arrangements to meet with students in order to provide more assistance. Or they will try to find some time during the lesson for the same purpose. No one goes to frontistiria here. Not that there aren’t any, but they go for other reasons (mostly to cut and paste work and hand it in as their own)

      The education minister in Greece seems to have the same problem as our education minister here: they are equating full day kindergarten with daycare. Sure, parents will love it because it is free daycare. But the young kids are tired and 6 is MUCH TOO LATE for them to be in school.

      The last time I was in Greece, a teacher told me that her class was “large” at 15 students. I told her I had classes of 32. If I count up the students I have taught in 6 classes this year, the number is 111

  2. hmm, more time at home with family… by keeping them away from home for longer?
    they must be using the new math, no wonder so many people send their kids to the frontisthrio afterwards to learn proper math!
    the compulsory givernment ‘education’ system is worse than a joke, it is completely worthless. Everything these clowns touch they make a total hash of it. Of course like all monopolies they get very violent if anyone tries to find an alternative! make it optional and not compulsory, and put some effort into making it worthwhile enough that people would go even if it’s voluntary, and maybe you’ll have something decent. as it is now it’s a total waste of everyone’s time and money.

  3. The morning is the best time for all age groups to learn. Afternoons should be for learning more relaxed subjects and if taught by good educators there would be no need for compulsory homework in the evenings.
    To end a school day so late would be counter productive to learning or children’s needs. This is obviously an arrangement to keep parents working instead of caring for their children.

    Kindergarten age children, especially will be too tired to play with their parents and it will be more like 6 o’clock before they even arrive home from school.

    what was this Education Minister’s previous job experience?

    • After crisis comes the realisation that a “modern economic powerhouse” cannot exclude women from their workforce, no country, apart from gas and oil based economies can, women are now economically viable units which pay ridiculous amounts of income tax which accumulates more money than some extra teachers wages. Big change is coming .

  4. Dose any other EU country make children aged 4 years and above go to school for 10 hours a day.