Prevention and response to violence and bullying
The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, at central and regional level, develops actions and programmes with the aim of preventing, identifying and addressing intra-school violence and bullying, as well as strengthening relationships of trust between members of the educational community (Law 5029/2023). Actions and programmes include in particular:
- the training of teachers, parents or guardians and students, including the advisory guidance of teachers on methods of recognizing incidents of intra-school violence and bullying,
- the development of relevant actions, programmes and educational material,
- the preparation of scientific research,
- the establishment of collaborations between the competent services of the Ministry with all kinds of bodies and structures,
- the sending to all schools of guidelines on how to manage incidents of discrimination
- threats and bullying directed at students who belong to vulnerable groups due to race, disability, religious beliefs, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, identity, expression, gender or marital status characteristics.
The law 5029/2023 foresees, among others, the creation of a special digital platform, where students and parents will be able to submit reports on incidents of intra-school violence and bullying. The School Head will manage these incidents, in close cooperation with the School Life Counselor and a group of psychologists, social workers and other specialists.
All–day primary school – all-day kindergarten (Law 4957/2022)
The all-day primary school, for the 2022/23 school year, offers extended school hours until 5.30 pm (up to 2 hours extra). The programme will be implemented as a pilot in approximately 50% of the classes that operate today as all-day, i.e. in almost 5,000 classes in Athens, Thessaloniki and other regions.
Students participate in new activities such as:
- world wide web,
- traditional or modern dances,
- visual arts,
- crafts and constructions,
- musical instruments.
The new all-day Primary School programme extends the teaching time for study/preparation in language and mathematics, while enriching it with a significant number of creative and engaging activities. The extension of the optional all-day programme in Kindergarten aims to provide quality and creative learning experiences through play, to creatively utilise children's free time, and also to support the family and especially working parents. Children are provided with the possibility of free expression and creative interaction, and, ultimately, development of communication skills.
National diagnostic examinations
National diagnostic examinations in Modern Greek Language and Mathematics in 6th grade of Elementary School and 3rd grade of Lower Secondary Education (Gymnasium) were implemented for the first time in 2022. These examinations were conducted as a pilot in a stratified sample of 300 Primary Schools and 300 Lower Secondary Schools with a total of 6,000 Primary and 6,000 High School students.
The examinations are carried out simultaneously in the selected school units. A platform has been created by the Institute of Educational Policy for communication with the sample schools, as well as for transmission of the topics.
The purpose of the National Diagnostic Examinations is to draw conclusions about the implementation of the Curricula, and the achievement of the expected learning outcomes at national level. The results of the exams are anonymous and are not taken into account by the teachers when evaluating the performance of students.
These diagnostic tests are used for informed decision-making on improvement interventions in the curricula, educational materials, teaching and learning approaches, inclusive/compensatory education practices and, finally, for the development of educational activities focused on the difficulties faced by students.
Joint Ministerial Decision 160159/GD4/2022 (Government Gazette 6712 Β) establishes, in collaboration with the Institute for Educational Policy and the Diophantus Institute of Computer Technology and Publications, the creation, organization, operation and technical support of the Textbook Registry and the digital Textbook Library. This is the initial stage of implementation of the reform for the Multi-Book.
The multi-book enables teachers to choose the textbook they wish to teach from in the classroom, while, at the same time, all approved textbooks will be available in a digital library, so that our students may combine knowledge from different sources of information in order to cultivate their critical thinking.
Upgrading the school, empowering teachers
The newly introduced law for the upgrading of schools (l. 4823/2021) establishes:
Greater autonomy in schools
Freedom in the organisation of teaching:
- Free choice of school materials from approved school textbooks is introduced and recommended in replacement of the single textbook.
- Autonomy in terms of the form, number and duration of student assessment tests.
- Approval of educational activities and programmes by the school unit (until today, approval was required from the Ministry of Education).
- Possibility of organising educational peer groups.
Strengthening the role of teachers in educational management positions:
Establishment of supportive bodies - distributed leadership model: In-School Coordinators, Mentors, Deputy Principals (selection upon the recommendation of the Principal), Liaison Officers for Apprenticeship in special vocational schools, etc. Teachers in management positions assume the responsibility for the organisation of pedagogical meetings, for the exercise of disciplinary control, while at the same time have the ability to utilise school facilities outside school hours and secure additional resources from organising events and accepting donations and sponsorships.
Greater transparency and accountability
Diagnostic efficiency tests are introduced in accordance with the PISA test standards (Language & Mathematics). Participation is anonymous for students of the 6th grade (primary education) and 3rd grade (secondary education), while scores are not taken into account in the pupil assessment. All schools have a website, with free accessl. Information such as educational groups, school evaluation reports, educational programmes, sports / social activities, teachers CVs are posted on the school website.
The Curricula determine the what, the how and the why of the learning process for each lesson, class, and level. 123 programmes have been redesigned and 43 updated - for primary, and secondary education.
- Firstly, the content of the Curricula is modernized and upgraded.
- Secondly, emphasis is placed on critical thinking, and experiential approach; interdisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are adopted.
- Thirdly, digital skills are cultivated; and rich accompanying digital material is provided in all cognitive areas.
The New Curricula are already being implemented and will be gradually introduced in all schools, accompanied by new textbooks.
21st century Skills Labs
The Skills Labs is an innovative school module, which advances soft and digital skills, as well as fundamental life skills (related to health, safety, and social interactions). Particular emphasis is laid on communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
This initiative aspires to bring about a paradigm shift in education: moving away from a knowledge-centric model to a skills-based approach. The workshops are combined with Flexible Curricula. Students make better use of knowledge and respond more effectively to modern challenges.
The module is part of the mandatory national curriculum in compulsory education. Educational materials are developed by civil society, while being selected and monitored by the Institute of Educational Policy. Since September 2021, a rollout to all classes throughout the country has been achieved.
The skills Labs are divided into four thematic areas, which arise from the Global Sustainable Development Goal Indicators:
- Social empathy and accountability
- Creative thinking and innovation
In particular, the thematic areas are the following:
1.HEALTH: Nutrition - Self Care, Road Safety
2.Mental and Emotional Health – Prevention
3.My body – Sex education
TAKE CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
1.Ecology - Global and local Natural heritage
2.Νatural Disasters, Civil protection
3.Global and local Cultural Heritage
Care and Act - Social Awareness and Responsibility
3.Inclusion: Mutual respect, diversity
Create and Innovate – Creative Thinking and Initiative
1.Stem - educational robotics
2.Entrepreneurship – Career Education – Familiarity with professions
Skills are grouped into four circles:
A) 21st Century Skills (4cs)
A1. 21st Century Learning Skills (4cs) (Critical Thinking, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity)
A2. 21st century digital learning (4cs in a digital environment) (Digital communication, Digital collaboration, Digital creativity, Digital critical thinking, Combined skills of digital technology, communication and collaboration)
A3. Productive learning through the arts and creativity.
B) Life skills
B1. Social life skills (Self-care, Social skills, Empathy and sensitivity, Citizenship, Adaptability, Resilience, Responsibility)
B2. Digital Citizenship Skills (E-Government Proficiency, Digital citizenship, Safe internet browsing, Protection from addictive behaviours in technologies, Resilience)
B3. Mediation and social empathy skills (Empathy and sensitivity, Mediation, Conflict resolution, Citizenship)
B4. Entrepreneurship skills (Initiative, Organisational ability, Planning, Productivity, Efficiency).
C) Technology, engineering and science skills
C1. Technology skills (Skills for creating and sharing digital creations, Skills for analysing and producing content in printed and electronic media, Skills for interdisciplinary and cross-curricular use of new technologies)
C2. Media Management Skills (Information literacy, Digital literacy, Technology literacy, Media literacy, Safety in internet)
C3. Robotics (Modelling and simulation skills, Scientific/Computational thinking).
D) Cognitive skills
D1. Strategic Thinking (Organisational thinking, Case study and problem solving)
D2. Lateral thinking (Creative, Productive, Holistic thinking)
D3. Thinking routines and reflection
D4. Constructions, games, applications
D5. Computational thinking skills (Scientific/Computational thinking, mediation).
The skills Labs promote and bring into effect the UN Sustainable Development goals, especially Goal 4.7 (By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development). The programme has received the Global Education Network Europe (GENE) Global Education Award (2020/21).
Evaluation of teachers & education managers
A distinction between formative (for teachers) and summative (for education managers) evaluation is introduced for the first time. Meanwhile, a re-evaluation of the evaluation system is put into place. Both teachers and education managers achieving high performance ratings are awarded points when filling management positions. On the contrary, in cases of low performance ratings, teachers are provided with training, while education managers are faced with limitations when claiming management positions or replaced when deemed inefficient.
Education Support Structures
Positions for Supervisors of Quality Education are established at regional level. The Diagnosis, Counseling and Support Centers are supported with new positions. The aim is an early educational and supportive intervention in primary school students and a timely adoption of individualised support measures.
Remedial teaching classes (ministerial decision 109161/Δ2/8-9-2022 Government Gazette 4818 Β) and Ministerial Decision 126316/Δ2/6-10-2021 Government Gazette 4710 Β) operate in lower secondary education schools in order to:
- Reintegrate students in the learning process
- Facilitate students to improve their performance in order to successfully complete attendance of compulsory Education
- Reduce early dropouts
- Increase percentage of access in upper secondary education
The term 'remedial teaching' means the attendance of gymnasio students of an autonomous support teaching programme at the end of the daily mainstream timetable.