There are three main levels of education in Greece. These are the Primary level, Secondary level, and the Tertiary level. As with many international countries, there are also opportunities for post-secondary education and vocational training.
Primary level education begins with preschool and kindergarten levels of learning. It then follows with six years of educational training. Most primary schools start at 8:15 AM and end at 1:15 PM. Class schedules are between 45 and 90 minutes each. The major holiday times are Christmas vacation, summer vacation, and Easter vacation. Students are expected to learn Modern Greek language, Mathematics, Environmental Studies, English, Theatre and Art, Gym, and Computer studies. Starting around Year 4, Religion and History are added. Year 6 introduces Geography, Political Studies, and a 2nd Foreign Language such as French or German. Years 1 and 2 have no grade system. Years 3 and 4 use letter grades A-D. Years 5 and 6 use numerical grades 1-10.
Secondary level education is split between two phases. The first phase has three years – 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. Students are age 12-15. This is similar to middle school and is referred to as Gymnasium. Classes start at 8:15 AM and go until 1:55 or 2:15 PM, with each class about 30-45 minutes. They have the same holidays as the Primary level. Studies begin to be more diverse in subject matter. The second phase is Lyceum, most closely resembling high school. It is also three years, with students age 15-18. The school day and holidays are almost identical to that of the lower secondary level. Students are required to take the Panhellenic national exams to pursue higher education options. There is also Vocational Lyceum for students specializing in special vocations.
More than twenty universities in Greece provide quality higher education opportunity for the country. By Constitution, all the universities are within the private sector. Most programs are taught in the Greek language. Specialized study programs exist, most commonly available in English. Greece’s higher education opportunities are known for their high quality, ranking 41st globally on the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings. Six Greek universities are among the 2018 rankings list, including: National Technical University of Athens, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, University of Crete, University of Patras, and Athens University of Economics and Business. Considered the historical origins of academia, Greece is home to intellect and culture.
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