Skip to main content
European Commission logo
EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main providers


8.Adult education and training

8.3Main providers

Last update: 5 September 2022

The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs superintends several public bodies that provide adult education and training:

  1. Scholeia defteris efkairias (SDE)/Second Chance Schools are schools for adults that have not completed compulsory education. There are 66 Second Chance Schools (and 22 Branches) and 12 Second Chance Schools located within correctional institutions.
  2. Institouta epangelmatikis katartisis - IEK (vocational training institutes), offering initial vocational training to graduates of formal, non-compulsory secondary education (general or vocational upper secondary schools). There are 126 public IEK/Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
  3. Dimosia Kentra dia viou mathisis/KDVM (public lifelong learning centres), that can be established to offer continuous vocational training, reskilling, upskilling, general adult education, vocational guidance and lifelong learning counselling. (Law 4763/2020 sets the framework for the establishment, licensing and operation of KDVM. The prior framework didn’t foresee for solid public structures for life long learning and instead life long learning programs were realized at municipality level using European funding).
  4. Centers for Training and Life Long Learning/KEDIVIM within Higher Education Institutions, which form Institutions units that ensure coordination and multidisciplinary cooperation concerning the development of programs for training, continuous education and training and life long learning. Centers for Training and Life Long Learning operate in 23 Higher Education Institutions.   
  5. The Hellenic Open University (superintended by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs)  is the he body that over time provides for long distance higher education studies (undergraduate, postgraduate and training) by developing and making use of the appropriate materials and teaching methods. More information for the above mentioned providers is provided at section 8.4.

On the occasion of the covid pandemic, provision was made for using long distance education means for the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs’ educative structures. (long distance education means were deployed during the lockdown). 

 Other lifelong learning providers. Lifelong learning programmes may be offered by agents and legal entities of any type, which operate in a national, regional or local level.  According to experts, this field remains largely uncharted.  
Such entities are, inter alia, the following:

  •     Bodies providing general adult education services, which may be social, religious or cultural bodies.
  •     Bodies offering counselling services and/or vocational orientation services.
  •     Bodies of the public and the extended public sector which provide  non formal learning to the manpower of the public and the extended public sector, like the National Centre for Public Administration and Local Government (EKDDA) and other professional associations and chambers, like the Institute for Small Businesses of the General Confederation of Professionals, Craftsmen and Merchants (IME-GSEBEE)and others.
  •     Bodies set up by the tertiary trade  unions of employees. Such bodies are, for example, the Centre for Education Policy Development of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (KANEP-GSEE), the Social Polykentro (ADEDY).