Besides day schools there is also evening Unified Lyceum offering four-year courses for young workers. There are also Unified Musical Lyceums, Unified Ecclesiastical Lyceums, Unified Lyceums with a sports department and
Unified Lyceums for multicultural education, as well as
Special Unified Lyceums and integration classes for pupils with special education needs.
Secondary education consists of two parallel cycles: The Compulsory Secondary Education which is provided by Gymnasium and Post-compulsory Secondary Education which is provided by Unified (Eniaio) Lyceum and Technical Vocational Schools (TEE).
Gymnasium (isced level 2)
The Gymnasium covers the three final years of compulsory education and constitutes the lower level of secondary education. The Gymnasium is for pupils aged 12 to 15 years.
As mentioned in the relevant law, education at Gymnasium level is designed to promote the pupils' all-round development with reference to the abilities which they have at that age and the demands which life puts on them. Specifically, it helps pupils to widen the scope of their values, to supplement and combine the acquisition of knowledge with the corresponding social problems, to cultivate their powers of verbal expression, to achieve normal physical development, to familiarise themselves with the various forms of art, to develop aesthetic judgment, and to become aware of their abilities and skills, inclinations and interests.
The Gymnasiums are day schools, but some operate during the evenings. Evening Gymnasiums are open to working pupils over 14 years old. Besides, there are also
Music Gymnasiums, Multicultural Education Gymnasiums and Gymnasium sport departments.
Remedial teaching is available for Gymnasium pupils with learning difficulties and for foreign students. They attend special courses in the problem subjects. In parallel, there are
Special Gymnasiums and induction classes for children with special education needs. Finally, since 1996 is adopted
Multicultural Education designed to meet the educational needs of social groups with a particular social, cultural or religious identity.
Assessment is based on day to day oral tests and the general involvement of the pupil in the learning process, on short written tests, on written tests given without warning during the school year and, finally, on written examinations at the end of the school year.
At the end of the school year pupils who fail certain subjects must take a repeat examination in September. Those who fail again must repeat a year, while pupils in their final year have the right to re-sit the regular examinations.
Pupils leaving the Gymnasiums are given a leaving certificate which entitles them to move on to higher-level secondary education. Besides, Gymnasium leavers of over 18 years of age may enrol at Vocational Training Institute (IEK) departments in certain specialisations, where they study for two semesters and obtain Vocational Training Certificate Level 1.
Unified Lyceum (isced level 3)
Structure, duration and goal
The Unified Lyceum was set up under the educational reform of 1997 by Act 2525 and replaces the old-style Lyceum. Its goal is to develop the pupils' all-round skills and abilities and to prepare them for a responsible role in modern society. The system's main characteristics are the emphasis on general education and the wide opportunities it offers for horizontal and vertical transfer to other equivalent or higher levels of the education system.
The Unified Lyceum consists of three classes and study lasts three years. Holders of a Gymnasium leaving certificate are admitted to the first class of the Unified Lyceum without examinations.
Class 1 of the Unified Lyceum includes general knowledge subjects, which constitute a common core for all pupils. During Class 2 the pupils must choose one of the following orientation lessons: theoretical orientation, practical orientation, or technological orientation. However, they are free to switch from one orientation to another after mid-October each
year. There are three orientation lessons in Class 2 lasting six hours a week. In Class 3 there are four orientation lessons lasting 12 hours a week. In parallel, pupils in Classes 2 and 3 attend core classes lasting
24 and 16 teaching hours a week respectively. Elective lessons are provided to all the classes of the Unified Lyceum lasting at least 2 teaching hours.
At the end of Classes 2 and 3 the pupils take examinations both at school and national level with a view to moving on to Class 3 or to obtaining the Unified Lyceum Leaving Certificate respectively.
Holders of the Unified Lyceum Leaving Certificate have the following opportunities:
- Technical Vocational Schools (TEEs) (isced level 3)
Structure, duration and goal
The Technical Vocational Schools (TEEs) are attached to the Ministry of National Education and Religious Affairs, although some are supervised by other Ministries and some by the
Greek Manpower Employment Organisation
(OAED). Pursuant to Act 2640/1998, their objective is to provide both general education and specialist technical and vocational skills to prepare pupils for the labour market.
Besides day schools there are also evening TEEs for workers aged up to 50 who wish to improve their job prospects. The applicants are accepted without examination but must possess either a Gymnasium leaving certificate or an equivalent certificate issued abroad.
Studies at the TEEs last up to three years and consist of two independent cycles covering specific fields and specializations. Cycle 1 lasts two years and Cycle 2 lasts one year, while in the evening TEEs an extra year is added to Cycle 1 and six months to Cycle 2.
The curriculum includes basic lessons in general education and technological lessons (theoretical and laboratory) in specific fields and specializations. The following subjects are taught at both cycles:
- Mechanical engineering
- Applied Arts
- Textile and Clothing
- Economics and Management
- Agricultural Production, Food and Environment
- Health and Welfare
- Chemistry Laboratory Applications
- Maritime and Shipping Occupations
- Information Science and Networks
- Aesthetics and Hairdressing
The number of subjects taught in each TEE depends on the local socioeconomic conditions and needs, the number of pupils, and their preferences. The subjects are subdivided into specific Specializations in the second class of Cycle 1 and in Cycle 2. The laboratory exercises are performed in separate school units called School Laboratory Centres (SEK).
Cycle 1 certificate holders may:
- Obtain a licence to practice a profession depending on their specialization and the legislation in force;
- enrol for a corresponding specialisation in Cycle 2.
Cycle 2 certificate holders may:
Examinations and vocational training level
- obtain a licence to practice a profession depending on their specialization and the legislation in force
- enrol in a post-secondary Vocational Training Institute (IEK) as from the second year of studies in the same specialization, or in the first year in any other specialization.
- apply for admission to a Technological Educational Institute (TEI) in a corresponding or related department, by sitting the national examinations in two general education subjects and one specialised subject.
On completion of Cycle 1, examinations are organised within the school in all the subjects taught. The successful pupils receive a Level 2 Vocational Training Certificate and are deemed competent to exercise independent specializations, in particular those of a manual nature.
On completion of Cycle 2 examinations are organised within the school in all the subjects taught and the successful pupils obtain a Level 3 Vocational Training Certificate; they are then deemed capable of performing technical tasks, either independently or with coordinating responsibilities. After the completion of Cycle 2, pupils who wish the continuation of their studies to TEIs take a common national examination in two general knowledge subjects (Mathematics and Modern Greek) and one specialized subject.
Additional teaching support
Unified Lyceum and TEE pupils with learning difficulties are entitled to free remedial teaching (additional teaching support) within the schools, both in respect of general education and specialised subjects. Besides there are special education TEEs for pupils with special education needs.
Horizontal movement between the Unified Lyceum and the TEEs
The Unified Lyceum is horizontally linked to the TEEs, and so it is possible for pupils to transfer from one to the other if they so wish. Hence a TEE Cycle 1 graduate may transfer to Class 2 of the Unified Lyceum while an Unified Lyceum pupil may transfer to Class 1 of TEE Cycle 1 and Class 2 of TEE Cycle 1 only for specific fields.