The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs sets systematic training as a strategic priority for any educational reform, so that teachers can respond to the heterogeneity of the pedagogical needs of all, including students.
In collaboration with the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP), the body responsible for the design of training programs (L.1566/1985), the process is being strengthened, with the aim of effectively transitioning to a modern training model
The National Center for Public Administration and Self-Government is added to the institutions and institutions for the training of primary and secondary education teachers.
Teacher training is distinguished between mandatory and optional. The mandatory training forms are listed below (Presidential Decree 250/92):
- Induction training has a duration of at least 100 teaching hours for candidates to be appointed as Primary and Secondary Education teachers.
- Periodic training in two training courses per academic year, lasts up to three months for permanent teachers.
- Short-term specific training programmes lasting from 10 to 100 hours for all teachers and 200 hours for teachers serving in Special Education units.
Periodic and Specific training programmes concern:
- Teachers serving in Primary and Secondary Education state schools under a non-fixed term employment contract as defined by private law.
- Teachers serving in private schools which operate on an equivalent basis to state schools.
The newly appointed teacher in both Primary and Secondary Education serves for two years as a trainee teacher (see Unit 9.2 “Induction”). During these two years the trainee teacher completes the induction mandatory training (law 3848/2010). The induction training for the candidate that is to be appointed as teaching staff and the assistants that are employed in municipal childcare centers and nurseries is also mandatory (law 3584 / 2007). It is provided in the form of educational programmes implemented by educational bodies upon approval of the Ministry of Education. Education bodies can be the following (law 4823/2021):
- School units
- Regional Education Centers
- Universities and supervised bodies of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs
- Training of teachers in the exploitation and use of ICT
At the present stage, the procedures for the preparation of programs by the Training Support Centers are in progress, in the context of the relevant Call for Expressions of Interest for the implementation of programs during the 2nd period of B2 ICT level training (March - June 2023) of the "Training of Teachers for the Utilization" and Application of Digital Technologies in Teaching Practice (T.P.E. Level 2 Training)/ 2nd cycle" OP ANAD-EDBM, ESPA 2014-2020, implemented by I.T.Y.E. – "Diofantos" (final beneficiary) in collaboration with I.E.P. (contracting body).
The programs will be implemented based on the mixed training model, i.e. as the case may be, with a combination of live sessions taking place at K.S.E., synchronous distance sessions using a special platform for synchronous distance education and virtual classroom management, as well as asynchronous remote actions, giving the opportunity to participate to all teachers, regardless of where they serve, including remote areas, small islands as well as Greek schools abroad.
The training is developed and implemented at two levels of knowledge and skills:
- Introductory training for the educational use of ICT (B1 ICT level) and
- Advanced training for the utilization and application of ICT in teaching practice (B2 ICT level).
The combination of the two levels will lead to the acquisition of knowledge and skills that correspond to comprehensive training for the utilization and application of ICT in the teaching practice (2nd level ICT training). The 2nd Level training has a duration of 36 teaching hours and is aimed at teachers of all branches and specialties.
- Distance learning
The Ministerial Decision under the title: "Start of action: " Fast training of teachers in distance education " (ref.no. 174545 / Ε3 / 28/12/ 2020) was published to meet the training needs of teachers teaching in e-classes. The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, in partnership stakeholders, has implemented an action, which concerned the rapid training of all teachers. The purpose of the action is to further cultivate the knowledge and skills of teachers in pedagogical and didactic approaches; therefore the methodology of distance education in primary / secondary education will be applied in quality terms, with the support of modern digital media, whether the educational process is live (synchronous) or in a different time (asynchronous).
- Other Training Actions (co-funded or not by Ε.Ε.)
The following is an example of actions implemented by the Institute of Educational Policy for teachers:
- Training in Special Education and Training
- Training on specialized educational support for the integration of students with disabilities and / or special educational needs
- Training in the New Curricula for Foreign Languages - Unified Curriculum of Foreign Languages (EPS-XG) and English Learning Programs in Early Childhood (PEAP)
- Training in the New Curricula for the subject of Religious Education
- Training Actions to support the education of refugee children
- Training of Teachers / Instructors in Apprenticeship issues etc.
Finally, reference should also be made to ERASMUS +, which is the EU funding programme for education, training, youth and sport.
The Erasmus + program is managed by the European Commission (the EU executive body), the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), the national bodies of the program countries and the national offices of some partner countries. An example of the actions of the Erasmus+ programme, which relates to teachers’ training, is the Key Action "mobility project for school education staff”: The programme offers the opportunity to members of public schools and private institutions (schools) to live a learning experience in another country. This particular mobility project includes one or more of the following activities:
- Teaching assignments: teachers can receive grants to teach in a partner country school.
- Structured learning courses or training activities abroad: teachers can receive grants to attend training programmes.
- Job shadowing: school teaching staff have the opportunity to spend some time abroad in a partner school or other Educational Institution.
Participants are given the opportunity to improve their knowledge, professional and linguistic skills, abilities, to come into contact with a new culture and civilisation and develop a sense of European identity. More information is available on the website of the European Commission and the State Scholarship Foundation (SSF), the Hellenic National Agency of the Erasmus+ programme (“Education and Training” sectors). Finally, concerning the possibilities offered for online teacher training through eTwinning, the National eTwinning Support Service in Greece, in collaboration with other competent bodies, has organised semi-annual distance learning e-seminars, with the aim of training teachers on how to make good use of Web 2.0 tools, educational Robotics and innovation in the implementation of eTwinning projects and in the teaching of all subjects.
Incentives for participation in continuous professional development (CPD) activities
Self- improvement constitutes one of the most powerful incentives for teachers’ continuous participation in certified training activities. Teachers take the initiative to participate in training activities and/or programmes as it makes them be in touch with their scientific field, innovative pedagogical methods etc. Furthermore, in the case where a teacher wishes to take a post in educational administration (school advisor, school head). Law 4547/2018 stipulates that the candidate teacher must have certified training on ICT level Furthermore, among the criteria for appointship with credits is certified training in ICT level 2, one year certified training in a Higher Education Institution Department, certified attendance of training programmes of the Ministry of Education Finally, in the framework of restricted fiscal policy, facilitation of sabbatical unpaid leaves for one school year is granted to Primary and Secondary Education teachers, in order to complete postgraduate studies. However, the grant or renewal of paid educational leaves is permitted only to scholars of State Scholarships Foundation (SSF) (law 3528/2007).
Under the restrictive fiscal policy, service training facility facilities are granted for one school year only without remuneration to Primary and Secondary Education teachers for the completion of postgraduate studies. However, the granting - renewal of in-service training licenses with mandatory remuneration to IKY scholarship holders is allowed (Law 3528/2007). The examination permit (Law 3528/2007), Law 4210/2013 and Law 4590/2019) is granted during the examination period to the employees who study in Higher Education Institutions. According to the latest amendment, from 7-2-2019, the exam leave can not exceed fourteen (14) working days each year. Licenses for educational or scientific reasons are granted by decision of the Regional Director of Education in accordance with Law 3528/2007. These are short-term paid leave, which are issued compulsorily to employees who participate in competitions to receive a scholarship, to be admitted to the National School of Public Administration and Local Government or to be selected to study in postgraduate courses, to participate conferences, seminars and all kinds of scientific meetings, at home or abroad, on subjects of interest to the service.