Last update01:19:34 PM

Back You are here: Home Lifestyle Life Education in Greece

Education in Greece

Greece has a very good education system and whilst this may seem a daunting task at first, it is wise to send your child to the local state school even if private alternatives exist. By attending school, your child will rapidly pick up the language particularly if they are young children. It is also a good idea to engage a private language tutor during the first few months of your emigration here because this will help avoid any frustration of not making themselves understood. One thing is for sure though, no matter what the level of intelligence of your child or the speed at which they learn, they will in the end master the language and become bilingual and when that happens beware – you will be more reliant on them than they on you!



Enrolling in School

There is some variety in documentation required for registering your child into the state school system, but one document you will need is your child’s birth certificate as well as those of both parents. You should also make sure you have evidence of all of the vaccinations your child has been given back in the UK. You may also be asked to provide evidence that your child has had all the required vaccinations to date; you can do this by requesting an official letter from your doctor’s surgery before you leave. If your children are a few years above the age for starting school in Greece you will need to provide details and evidence of their school attendance in the UK. This means you will have to get their school reports, SAT results and a letter from their head teacher translated. Children start school at 6 years old in Greece and may leave on reaching 15 years. At the end of a child’s schooling the y receive a Certificate of Education providing they have satisfied all of the criteria laid down by the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs. Children may be required to repeat school years if their performance is not up to scratch.  You will need to provide exercise books and other school materials, but text books are provid3ed free by the state.

Geographical Accessibility

The Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs guarantees access to schooling to all children regardless of their location. This means that those on the remotest islands will be given some form of schooling although travel may be involved. All regions of the country including the islands have kindergartens and primary schools, which are on an equal par with those on the mainland. For this reason, special measures are taken so that education may reach the most distant parts of the country. The number of teachers in each of these schools depends on the number of pupils in attendance, but generally ranges from 1 to 12.  Your child will be enrolled into the nearest school to where you live and this may mean that they have to travel by bus or even ferry boat, but all of these costs are carried by the state. The Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs is pioneering e-learning on the tiny island of Pserimos in the Dodecanese. This island has 130 inhabitants, but only 25 during winter and one of the families who live there have seven children. When the youngest graduates from primary school, he will participate in a distance learning project rather than attend high school on the neighbouring island of Kalymnos.
Throughout the Dodecanese Islands, children will be able to learn from home in a pilot project set up in conjunction with the Aegean University, Department of Computer Science. Lessons will be given online and homework submitted in the same way.


Greek education has several tiers; kindergarten known as Nipiagogeia, and primary school called Demotika Scholeia, another primary level known as Dimotiko, secondary school known as Gymnasio and tertiary education in the form of universities and colleges. Some towns offer public and private pre- school education starting at the age of 2.5 years: this is called Vrefonipiakoi Paidikoi Stathmi. State kindergarten education starts at 4 years old; it is free but not obligatory. The first stage of primary education Demotika Scholeia takes children from age 6 to 12. Secondary education runs through to 15. Upper Secondary Education from age 15 is not compulsory and takes place at vocational schools and lyceums. Following this at tertiary level there are universities and colleges of further education.

School Curriculum in Greece

The Pedagogical Institute proposes suitable curricula for both Primary and Secondary Education to the Ministry of Education.  They set out to build a curriculum, which meets various objectives for each subject. For the first few years one teacher takes all subjects except English, P.E. and Music. In schools were there are not many teachers the children stay longer and do up to 30 hours schooling a week. Every subject on the curriculum is compulsory and equal in value.

The structure for each lesson is also laid out in advance, but teachers are free to have their own teaching style. Greek language always starts with a poem or a story with questions regarding grammar afterwards, dictation is also part of learning Greek as are story compositions. Religious education teaches both the Old and New Testaments and details of the Greek Orthodox religion.  Maths includes geometry and mathematical theory and practical exercises. Physics and chemistry are combined. History is taught from 3rd grade and deals with ancient Greek mythology and history. In 5th grade pupils study the role of the Byzantine Empire and by 6th grade they look at modern Greece. Geography starts with the teaching of local then national geography and European geography from the 6th grade.

Children with learning difficulties will receive extra help and special lessons known as Enyschitiki Didaskalia throughout primary school. The course focuses on learning Maths and Greek. Whilst state primary schools are generally for half a day only, there are some full-day schools known as Oloimero Demotiko Scholeio and they have an extended timetable and a wider curriculum. These schools, however, are legally obliged to implement the relevant curriculum. Such schools are ideal for children with learning difficulties.

More information is available at the Greek Ministry of Education website