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Greece: Initiatives on Equity Education-Promoting Inclusive Education Phase II

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Greece: Initiatives on Equity Education-Promoting Inclusive Education Phase II

12 April 2023
Country news

The development of a high quality and equitable education system is one of the central missions that the Greek state has undertaken for many decades. In order for this mission to be achieved, significant reforms have been introduced that touch on all aspects of the educational system which attempt to increase participation and eliminate exclusion within and from education for all students. Throughout these wider reform efforts, particular emphasis has been placed on the needs of those who have traditionally found themselves in a situation of greater risk in the process of educational exclusion, as they are students with disabilities or/and special educational needs. 

Especially with regard to students with disabilities or/and special educational needs, these reform efforts have been guided throughout recent years by the 12th target of the Strategic Action Plan (“Education and Training for All”), which places a clear emphasis on the promotion of inclusive education and constitutes a ‘roadmap’ that provides a clear, coherent and systematic framework for action. 

Addressing challenges in legislation, educational policy and practice 

In order for the effective implementation of several provisions of the National Action Plan, and in line with International conventions and European priorities,  the Greek Ministry of Education has received over the last years technical support from the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education in the framework of the European funded, SRSP REFORM Project “Promoting Inclusive Education in Greece: Addressing challenges in legislation, educational policy and practice”. This specific project aimed at providing Technical Support to the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs regarding the promotion of inclusive transformations into the Greek Educational System, with the main focus being on: 

a) Reinforcement of the inclusive perspective and operations of the supportive educational structures ie, the Centers of interdisciplinary Assessment and Counseling Support ( KEDASY) , the Interdisciplinary Educational Evaluation and Support Committees (EDY)  

b) Strengthening of general education schools in order to meet the heterogeneous needs of all students, including those with disabilities or/and special educational needs. 

As a result of this activity, many important deliverables have been produced, which have had a significant impact at policy and practice levels. To mention just a few: 

1. A conceptual paper has been formulated by national experts regarding the necessary steps in moving the field forward. 

2. Assessment protocols have been created for all grades which, following their pilot implementation, will be adopted by the Centers of interdisciplinary Assessment and Counseling Support. 

3. Guidelines on safeguarding effective inclusive transitions between different grades have been formulated and they are currently under review by the lawmaking committees. 

4. A Guide for inclusive education which is meant to be addressed to schools as a roadmap for inclusion. 


Second Phase of Technical Support by DG REFORM 

Following the successful implementation of the above project, a second phase of technical support has been provided by the Directorate-General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM) of the European Commission. The technical support is provided in the context of the European funded project entitled «Implementation of the European Child Guarantee-Promoting Inclusive Education in Greece Phase II».  

The central focus of the project is not only the implementation of the outcomes of the deliverables of PHASE I on a pilot basis, but also the inclusive aspect of the project. For this purpose, five (5) Regional Directorates of Education (P.D.E. of Attica, P.D.E. of Central Macedonia, P.D.E. of Western Greece, P.D.E. of the North Aegean, & P.D.E. of Crete), have been selected with the criterion of equal geographical representation in order to fulfil the criteria of representative diversity, in terms of geography, urban, rural and island economies so as to ensure the greatest possible coverage of the heterogeneous needs of the student population. The results of the work groups of the specific project are still in progress. 

Source: Eurydice Unit Greece

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