Jul 11
Last Updated on 28 July 2011

Secondary Education

Structure and duration
The upper secondary education is not compulsory.
After completing their "Gymnasio", pupils can be registered at all types of "Lykeio" as well as the Technical Vocational Schools (TES) and Technical Vocational Lykeio (TEL), which can be either State schools or private institutions. In State schools, education is provided free of charge and there are both daytime and evening courses. The type of courses offered at these schools are:

- Lykeio offer daytime courses lasting 3 years and evening courses lasting 4 years. There are various types of "Lykeio". The existing types of Lykeio are the General Lykeio, the Technical-Vocation Lykeio, the Comprehensive (Polikladiko) Lykeio, the Classical Lykeio, the Ecclesiastical Lykeio and the Music Lykeio. There are also Lykeio Sports Departments.
Pupils successfully completing any type of "Lykeio" receive a leaving certificate (Apolytirio Lykeiou), giving access to tertiary education (Universities, Technical Institutions).
- Technical Vocational Schools (TES) and Technical Vocational Lykeio (TEL), offer daytime courses lasting 2 years and evening courses lasting 3 years. They prepare pupils for the world of work.
- Technical Vocational Lykeio (TEL ) constitute the second largest category of lykeio. Graduates can participate in General Examinations in order to be admitted to the University or TEI ( non university technological institutes of tertiary education) without examinations, on the basis of their grade record at the TEL.This privilege of entering without examinations is, however scheduled for abolition under the new Law for education.
- Pupils who wish to learn a trade can enrol in a Technical Vocation School (TES). Class participation in TES is compulsory and full-time. Attendance is for 2 years in daytime TES and 3 years in evening TES. Graduates from TES obtain a diploma of specialisation and can either enrol in a second year of TEL, or Comprehensive Lykeio or enter the labour market.

Entry requirements
Pupils who have completed the Gymnasio can enrol in any upper secondary institution on the basis of the lower secondary school-leaving certificate. There are no entrance examinations. The pupil must be at least 14 years old.

Tuition fees
The public general upper secondary school is free of charge and school books are distributed free of charge to the pupils by the State.

The teaching of foreign languages (either English or French or German) is provided in all types of Lykeio; in the Classical Lykeio German is always taught.

At the end of each school year, in June, pupils sit official written examinations in each subject to determine whether they move up to the next year. The final mark of each pupil is based on her/his average mark for oral assessment and the marks in the written examinations at the end of the year.

At the end of the third year of Lykeio, pupils sit a final examination which, if passed, entitles them to the leaving certificate (Apolytirio Lykeiou).

Financial assistance
For upper secondary school, financial assistance is in the same forms as for compulsory schooling.

Oher information
Apart from Lykeia and Technical schools students, can enter a number of different vocational schools run by various Ministries such as Nursing schools, Tourism, farming, art, military etc. Of all these schools however only the schools of apprenticeship of AOED are important in terms of student numbers. Graduates of these schools have the same status as graduates of TES.

Training is offered by a large number of institutions in Greece, both public and private. The local authorities and the social partners are also present in this field.

The Organisation for vocational education and training (OEEK) - under the control of the Ministry of Education - is responsible for technical education and training policy, according to the rules of Greek national Law and the European directives. Also OEEK is responsible for the private and public institutions providing vocational education (IEK). Members of the board of OEEK are from the Ministries of Education, National Economy and Labour and also include representatives from the social partners (employers and employees).

Institutions of vocational education (IEK) are either private or public. Most of them specialise in new teaching methods (combine theory and practice in small enterprises) and offer courses in new technology, leading to diplomas in qualifications recognised in Greece itself and in Europe.

From 5 to 15 September each year, candidates bring the necessary papers (application form, identification card or passport , certificate from Lykeio etc) to the IEK where they want to continue their education. Selection of candidates then takes place and successful students start their compulsory programme on 2 October.

Some of the specialities of IEK are computing applications, management of small enterprises, marketing, accounting, tourism and hotels, floriculture, electronic systems and automation, health and social services, practical chemistry and products, wear and footwear etc.

The Organisation for vocational education and training (OEEK) has responsiblity for the recognition of foreign diplomas.

The EKEPIS - HELLENIC CENTER FOR THE ACCREDITATION of the continuous training for adults through life-long learning - is responsible for KEK (Vocational Training Centres). EKEPIS is under the control of Ministry of Labour and Social Security. KEK are often private or belong to social partners, municipalities, prefectures etc.

KEK are responsible for the training of unemployed people through special training programs, most of them funded by Ministry of Labour and Social Security and European Social Fund (ESF). KEK can be found all over the country but most of them have their main office in the big cities. A final list of KEK has be drawn up in 1998.

Their lessons were due to start in September 1998 and contain theoretical and practical lessons. After training, graduates should find work through employment offices and Job Clubs of ManPower Employment Organisation (OAED). Many KEK also have direct contacts with businessmen, so they are able to send the best graduates for work directly after training.

Outside the education system, OAED (the Greek public employment organisation) provides initial training for young people, through apprenticeships (3 years) and short intensive courses ( TEK - continuing vocational training ) in auto mechanics, electrician, refrigerator mechanics, metal worker, cutting-sewing, woodworking, painting, pottery, gardening etc.).

One serious problem is that the links between education and economic activities are tenuous and rather ad hoc. The availability of EU resources - rather than the needs of the job market - have dictated the direction of the development of training programmes.

Apart from OAED, there are two more private Institutions, ELKEPA and EEDE (see below). They both offer specialised training programs for young people in areas such us computing, marketing, management, total quality management, hotel & tourist management etc.