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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Teaching and learning in general upper secondary education


6.Secondary and post-secondary higher education

6.5Teaching and learning in general upper secondary education

Last update: 27 November 2023

Curriculum, subjects, number of hours

The curricula and timetables of genika lykeia (general upper secondary schools) are drawn up by the Pedagogical Institute. The Pedagogical Institute has been replaced since 2011 by the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP), which among other things offers consultation and makes suggestions about issues concerning secondary education study programmes, textbooks and other teaching material.

The curricula serve as complete guides for teachers and include the following:

  • Explicitly stated aims for each subject, in the context of the general and grade-specific aims of education
  • Syllabus organised in units
  • Indicative guidelines on the method and the teaching materials per subject.

The curricula for grades A, B and C are defined by Ministerial decision 94196/Δ2/29-7-2021 currently in effect. The following apply:

Grade A

Grade A of general lykeio is an exclusively general education grade with a timetable for subjects of general education of 35 hours per week. 

General upper secondary school grade A timetable

General education subjects   Hours
Greek Language  Ancient Greek Language and Literature     5
Modern Greek Language and Literature 4
  Religious Education
History   2
Mathematics  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Algebra 3
  Geometry 2
English       3

Second  Foreign Language (French or German)




Natural Science Physics






  Biology 2
Physical Education    2
Social Education (Economy, Civil Institutions, Law Principles and Sociology)   2
Information Technology Applications   2
Total taught time   35

Grade B

The curriculum applicable to grade B of the day general lykeio includes general education subjects of 30 teaching hours per week in total and two groups of specialization courses, human and science studies, of 5 teaching hours per week in total.

General upper secondary school grade B timetable

General education subjects   Hours
Greek Language *1 Ancient Greek Language and Literature     2
Modern Greek Language and Literature 4
Mathematics *2 Algebra 3
  Geometry 2
Natural Sciences *3 Physics 2
  Chemistry 2
  Biology 2
Introduction to the principles of IT Applications   2
History   2
Philosophy   2
Religious Education    2
English    2
Second Foreign Language (French or German)   1
Physical Education    2
Total hours for general education   30
Group specialisation subjects      Hours
Human Studies Specialization Group    
Ancient Greek Language and Literature   3
Latin   2
Total hours for specialization group   5
Science studies specialisation group courses       Hours
Physics   3
Mathematics   2
Total hours for specialization group   5
Total Taught Time   35

1 Greek Language: a single course with two distinct subjects:

  1. Ancient greek language and Literature
  2. Modern greek language and Literature

2 Mathematics: a single course with two distinct subjects:

  1. Algebra
  2. Geometry

3 Science: a single course with three distinct subjects:

  1. Physics
  2. Chemistry
  3. Biology

Grade C

The curriculum in grade C of day general lykeio is split into school subjects of general education and school subjects of specialisation taught 32 hours per week. There are 3 specialisation groups: 

  1. Human studies
  2. Sciences and Health studies
  3.  Economics and IT.  

Students are required to select subjects of their specialisation group along with general education subjects.  Students specializing in Sciences and Human studies are required to select either Mathematics or Biology.

Timetable of day general lykeio for grade C

  General education subjects



Religious Education


Modern Greek Language and Literature 

6  (5hrs for the main school subject and 1 hour on answering questions posed, recapitulation etc)

History (it is taught to students who opt for the Science Studies and Health Studies Specialization group as well as the Economics and Information Technology Studies specialization group )


Mathematics (it is taught to students opting for Human studies specialization group) 2
English 2
Physical Education 2

Total hours for general education


Groups Specialization  Subjects

Human Studies Specialization Group Hours
Ancient Greek     6




Total hours for the specialization group 18
Sciences and Health studies group     hours
Mathematics (for students opting for the second Discipline) or Biology (for students opting for the third discipine     6
Physics 6
Chemistry 6
Total hours for the specialization group 18
Economics and Information Technology group     hours
Mathematics     6
Information Technology 6
Ecomomics 6
Total hours for the specialization group 18
Overall total of hours 32

Specialization group subjects are linked with entry into higher education institutes and lead to specific academic disciplines. In particular HEI Departments are grouped into 4 disciplines under law 4610/2019:

  • Discipline 1: Humanities, Law and Social Sciences
  • Discipline 2: Science and Technological Sciences
  • Discipline 3: Health and Life Sciences
  • Discipline 4: Economics and ICT

The discipline refers to the total of the same or related cognitive subjects that refer to respective schools of higher education institutions. Access to the specific discipline is granted depending on the specialization group chosen by the student. Hence, the candidates of the specialization group of humanities have access to the schools and department of the discipline. 

Therefore, candidates of the Human studies specialization group have access to HEI Schools and Departments of Disciple 1 and they are required to sit on exams on Modern Greek Language and Literature, Ancient Greek, History and Latin. Candidates of the Sciences and Health studies specialization group have access to HEI Schools and Departments of either Disciple 2 or Disciple 3, depending on the academic disciple they have chosen:

  1. candidates choosing Disciple 2 are required to sit on exams on Modern Language and Literature, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics and
  2. candidates choosing Disciple 3 are required to sit on exams on Modern Language and Literature, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Candidates of the Economics and IT specialization group have access to HEI Schools and Departments of Disciple 4 and are required to sit on exams on Modern Language and Literature, Mathematics, IT and Economics.

The curriculum of evening general lykeio is defined with Ministerial decision 94201/Δ2/29-7-2021.    

Teaching methods and materials

Until school year 2017/18 school advisors had the responsibility for the scientific and pedagogical support and guidance of secondary education teachers. Law 4547/2018 replaced them with the institution of coordinators of educational work and established new structures for the support of educational work:

  • Regional Centres for Educational Planning (PEKES). The Regional centers for educational planning (PEKES) are abolished but continue to perform their tasks according to the provisions of law 4547/2018 as before as far as the selection and placement of Education counselors, Regional supervisors of the quality of education as well as Supervisors of the quality of education.
  • Centre of interdisciplinary assessment, counseling & support (ΚΕDASY).        
  • School Networks of Educational Support (SDEY)
  • Interdisciplinary support committees for general and vocational education school units (EDY).
  • Environment and sustainability Training Center (KEPEA).

School textbooks and curricula are developed under the supervision of the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) and are approved by the Ministry of Education.  Authorization by the Ministry, after proposal by IEP, is required also for all other educational material or/and the programmes and any research conducted in general lykeia.

The publication and distribution of the textbooks is conducted by the Computer Technology Institute & Press “Diophantus” (ITYE), a research and technology organization focusing on the research and the effective use of Information and Communication Technologies in the sector of education (law 3966/2011).

Textbooks are distributed for free in public schools.  They are common for all students of the same grade.

New interventions and actions in general lykeio

During 2017-2019, important changes were introduced in the curricula and the teaching material of individual subjects. The aim was to improve education in higher secondary education. Relevants examples include the following: 

  • New curriculum and related portfolio of educational material for the subject "Modern World: Citizens and Democracy" of grade B of general lykeio.  It replaced the subject of Civic Education (Economy, Civil Institutions, Principles of Law and Sociology). The new subject is set in a wider framework of historical and social approach of the modern world under the prism of social sciences. Students approach critically the social, economic and political reality.
  • New teaching examples in the language subjects of grade C of lykeio. The aim is to reinforce students in interpreting and critically assessing texts, as well as producing critical speech.  Hence, a new curriculum was designed for the subjects of ancient and modern Greek.  For its support and implementation, since school year 2019/20, there are 3 portfolios of material for students (Modern Greek language - literature - ancient Greek) and two portfolios for the teacher (Modern Greek language and literature).  A new assessment mode was determined nationally.
  • Portfolios for the subject of Religious Education.
  • Portfolios for the subject of IT: restructure, updating and modernizing the subject of IT in grade C of general lykeio with new material.

In general upper secondary school, the application of modern teaching methods depending on the subject, and the use of traditional as well as modern teaching materials, constitute a major aim.

However, teachers enjoy a relative independence since they can modify their teaching methods in ways that suit the nature of the subject they teach and students’ abilities, interests and inclinations.

In any case what is sought is an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to learning, which helps develop the pupil’s skills for a more effective response to the problems of everyday life.  At the same time, the knowledge-oriented teaching approach is reduced and school time is used at the maximum degree.

Within the context of optional school activities, teachers undertake actions on:

  • Environmental education
  • Health education
  • Culture and arts oriented issues.

Teachers take the initiative to implement various educational programmes-activities inside or outside school with the participation of students.

The methodological approaches applied in lykeio include:

  • Active approach to knowledge through research and discovery. This approach aims at helping students to think, to handle complex concepts, to investigate and to reach knowledge themselves and ultimately to facilitate critical thinking. This is achieved through a range of techniques, including: observation, comparison, measurement, classification, investigation, solving problems, formulating inductive or deductive reasoning, brainstorming
  • Illustrations by means of using appropriate teaching aids, such as slides, videos, models, pre-made kits, by means of which the interest of pupils is triggered, their attention is focused on a specific goal and learning is facilitated.  The help of a computer and appropriate dynamic simulations can be useful for the pupil in order to identify and better understand concepts and procedures.
  • Discussion/debate of the teacher with the pupils or discussion in groups.  Debates give pupils the opportunity to think, to be puzzled, to evaluate and to formulate their opinions through the dialectical process of confrontation. The involvement of the pupil in the debate and their active participation achieved by the appropriate puzzling questions, which should be planned before teaching
  • Direct form of teaching/narration. Human beings are able to communicate their knowledge and ideas, by the means of reason. This enables the teacher to be directly involved in the learning process at the time of teaching, when he considers that the indirect forms of teaching are not appropriate for the occasion
  • Teamwork forms of teaching. Teamwork teaching styles are recommended for the preparation of work plans (projects), which are provided for the organization of interdisciplinary activities.

These teaching strategies can be applied separately or in combination, depending on the module, the nature of the course, the pupils' needs and the circumstances of the school and the resources available to the teacher.

School laboratories (natural sciences and information technology)

A major effort is made for the promotion of laboratory teaching for the subjects of natural sciences as well as for the support of the teaching and the application of information and new technologies in secondary education schools.

Details on the school laboratories can be found in the section  6.2. Teaching and learning in general lower  scondary education

Educational platforms and digital portals

The digital upgrade of the teaching process is carried out through supply programmes of suitable ICT equipment (portable laboratories, interactive boards).

Details on the educational platforms and digital portals can be found in the section  6.2. Teaching and learning in general lower secondary education

Foreign languages

The preparation of new teaching material for English, French and German has been a major change in foreign language education. This material is free for all students of public genika lykeia.

The material is designed on the basis of scenarios.  It is divided in thematic units that include comprehension activities and production of oral and writing speech.  The aim is the development of communication skills in foreign languages through authentic communication situations.

Teachers can plan their teaching, add or adjust the material available on the basis of the language proficiency, the needs and interests of students. At the same time, they can use the infrastructure of the school unit.