Thursday, September 20, 2007

Education in Greece

Lot's of people ask me why I have a language school in Greece. Let me just tell you a few things about the Greek Education System, and the way things work here.

The public school system is in an undesirable state at the moment. Some key problems are that when the school year starts in September, most schools are lacking teachers and books, so the actual school year really begins towards the middle of October. There is no such thing as coordination, as teachers are not employed be the school but be the Department of Education, who distribute their teachers all around Greece. This accounts for many of the problems in the Education system, as there is a lot of searching for ways to get out of being sent to a place far from home. The actual social effects of the system are more disastrous than anything else. Many families are split up for most of the year, as parents who are teachers traipse around the country, usually with one or more of their children. The implications are immense. The family unit slowly shatters, the family budget comes under unbearable strain as there are usually two households to maintain, and teacher's children are never in one school long enough to integrate into a community. Another major implication of the system as it stands, are the continuous change of teachers. I must admit that in this area, teachers in secondary education may change up to three times in one year.

Another aspect that must be looked at is also the permanency of teaching positions, and the amount of re-education the actual teachers have. There is no fear of losing your job, as it is considered permanent from day one, so basically who cares if students learn or not. This is a problem with all state jobs around Greece.

Another factor to take into consideration is that most people want to become educated to then find a state job!! Another amazing fact about Greece, again due to the permanency of positions and the fact that a lot of jobs and positions are filled in questionable ways!!

So in answer to the question why I have a language school, and why there are so many language schools an private evening schools is quite simple. People, and above all, children, need a sense of continuity and comfort in their lives. Unlike what the government, and any government, seems to believe, children like organisation. They want to learn. They have a right to reach high standards, and have goals in order to become strong adults like us...better than us. The stability they feel in environments such as ours is much more than the stability they feel in their schools at the moment.

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