Definition of the target group(s)
One of the goals of the law for the development of lifelong learning (law 3879/2010) is to safeguard the access of individuals to general adult education.
In accordance with the definition in law 4430/2016, the socially vulnerable groups are the population groups whose participation in social and economic life is hampered, due to social and economic problems, or due to physical, mental, cognitive disability, or even due to unlawful conduct.
These groups include:
- Persons with disabilities (physical, mental, cognitive, sensory)
- Substance dependent persons or individuals in the process of recovery
- Juvenile delinquents, prison inmates and persons released from prison.
The 'special' category groups are the population groups that are disadvantaged concerning their smooth integration to labour market due to economic, social and cultural reasons.
These groups include:
- Victims of domestic violence
- Victims of human trafficking and trading
- Homeless people
- People living in poverty
- Economic immigrants
- Refugees and asylum seekers
- Single parent family leaders
- Culturally differentiated people
- Long term unemployed up to 25 years of age and over 50 years of age.
Specific support measures
The objectives of general adult education are knowledge enrichment, the development and improvement of students’ skills and talents, to promote personality development and active citizenship and reduce social and educational inequalities.
General adult education programmes are suitable for all persons. However, there is a particular emphasis placed upon vulnerable groups, with programmes that aim to promote their socio-economic inclusion. Through structures that provide information, support and advisory services, every adult has the option to access formal education institutes and lifelong learning network bodies.
Chapter 8 "Adult Education and Training" makes detailed reference to the provisions and the measures supporting the objectives of lifelong learning and adult education. These regulations and measures are summarized as follows:
- Vocational Education: Epangelmatika lykeia - EPAL (vocational upper secondary schools) and Special needs vocational lower – upper secondary education schools (ΕΝΕΕGy-L). During school year 2020-2021, Day Epangelmatika lykeia - EPAL (vocational upper secondary schools) attend 79.186 students (14.953 adults included in the previous number), Evening Epangelmatika lykeia - EPAL (vocational upper secondary schools) attend 27.828 students (27.248 adults included in the previous number) and Special needs vocational lower – upper secondary education schools (ΕΝΕΕGy-L) attend 3.513 students (853 adults included in the previous number).
- The Post-Secondary – Apprenticeship Programme which started to operate in a pilot mode in 2017 (Law 4386/2016). According to Law 4763/2020 Post-Secondary – Apprenticeship Programme is implement within the domain of the Secretariat General for Vocation Education and Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. SPAEE are responsible at district level for issues related to the support of the Post-Secondary – Apprenticeship Programme. Post-Secondary – Apprenticeship Programme classes operate at EPAL schools. Among the programme’s aims, it targets at further reinforcing the inclusion of graduates of non- compulsory secondary vocational education to the labor market by acquiring work experience deploying the apprenticeship methodology.
- Scholeia defteris efkairias (SDE)/Second Chance Schools are schools for adults that have not completed compulsory education. Within Second Chance Schools preparatory classes can operate for exam participation leading to the acquisition of the primary school leave certificate as well as preparatory classes for teaching Greek Language to immigrants and refugees in order for them to enroll at Second Chance Schools.
- Vocational Training Schools/ESK and Vocational Apprenticeship Schools/EPAS of OAED. Among the main aims of the mentioned above schools are both to confront early school leaving, upskill basic skills of holders of compulsory education certificates or equivalent certificates and include them to the labour market and to care for the inclusion of vulnerable social groups to professional life (regarding Vocational Training Schools/ESK).
- 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). Public Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis/IEK can organize foreign language classes for foreigners, aged 18 and above that are holders of equivalent certificates of those holded by graduates of non- compulsory secondary education. Attendance at public Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis/IEK is free of charge. To secure unhampered attendance and its completion scholarships can be granted to trainees of public Institouta Epangelmatikis Katartisis/IEK of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affaris, upon social and financial criteria.
- 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. The number of participants in KDBM learning courses may not exceed twenty-five (25) people or fifteen (15) in cases of programmes aimed exclusively at specific social groups, such as the disabled. The criteria for the inclusion of participants in the learning courses are specified in the respective programmes.
- 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 lifelong learning.
- Lifelong learning programmes at municipalities which are EU co-funded programmes, implemented intermittently during the last years, focusing on education and lifelong learning for all ages, with a view to fostering a positive attitude towards learning, promoting equal opportunities in accessing education, encouraging the productive use of free time, increasing accessibility chances in the labour market, and finally, linking or re-linking those who did not complete compulsory education with adult education. Municipalities are provided with the option to operate lifelong learning centres (KDVM), which can implement general adult education programmes with learning activities taking place at national and local level.
The Hellenic Open University (superintended by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs) is the 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.
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.
Pursuant to law 4763/2020, provision is made for (a) the possibility of setting up primary and secondary school units in the Detention Centres; public vocational training institutes (IEK), Vocational Training Schools (ESK), public lifelong learning centres (KDBM) and Greek language learning courses and (b) the possibility of organising Greek language programmes aimed at third-country citizens or asylum seekers over sixteen years of age, who are interested in being subject to the status of long-term resident, after examinations, to obtaining a special certificate of adequate knowledge of the Greek language and elements of Greek history and culture. These programmes are provided free of charge, within the framework of lifelong learning centres (KDBM) actions, or in cooperation with co-competent Ministries.
Through the National Qualifications Framework, as established by law 4763/2020, the qualifications of individuals, i.e. knowledge, skills and competences, acquired through formal education and training and non-formal and informal learning, are recognised and correlated with each other and then classified, in the logic of learning outcomes.
Relevant support is offered via the two (2) following state bodies which are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education:
- The Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (INEDIVIM), which aims at realizing acts, programs and projects for Life Long Learning and Youth (focusing on supporting young people’ s educative and professional pathways and mobility, bringing out and reinforcing innovation and mobility) and managing issues related in any way to pupil and student care.
- The National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) which implements the national Accreditation & Certification System for non-formal learning, including Initial and Continuing Vocational Training and provides scientific support to vocational guidance & counseling services both at national and local/regional levels.