6.2 Administration and governance
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The Greek educational system is centralized. The main responsibilities for educational policy and administration are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs.
The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs is composed of General Secretariats, Directorates and Departments, which relate to specific responsibilities, depending on the level of education.
- General Secretariat of Primary, Secondary Education and Special Education
- General Secretariat of Higher Education
- General Secretariat of Religious Affairs
- General Secretariat of Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning & Youth
Other supervised bodies of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs are the Youth and Lifelong Learning Foundation (INEDIVIM), with the status of a Legal Entity of Private Law (LEPL) with main pillars of actions: Lifelong Learning Programs, Youth Support and Student and Pupil Care.
The Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) is a headquarters scientific body of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs with issues related to: primary and secondary education, post-secondary education, the transition from secondary to tertiary education, teachers’ training and tackling student dropout and early school leaving, in order to ensure the right of all children to education. Regarding any relevant initiative or action of services of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs or its supervised bodies, cooperation with the Institute of Educational Policy is required.
School Education (Primary, Secondary)
The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs conducts, centrally, the management and governance.
The regional directorates of education are responsible for the administration and the scientific and pedagogical guidance of education in the region and report directly to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. At a prefecture level, the competent bodies are the directorates of primary and secondary education.
Finally, at a local level, the educational policy is implemented and determined by the school units of the home directorate of education. Recent reforms redefine the role of educational institutions. They offer greater autonomy to the school unit along with the ability to plan, organize and evaluate its work.
For further information, you can also visit the relevant Eurydice website in the "Organization and Governance" section.
Higher Education (Tertiary Education)
Higher education is provided by Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which are legal entities of public law fully self-governed and are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The Law 4485/2017 "Organization and operation of higher education, regulations for research and other provisions" describes the structure and configuration of higher education.
Higher education consists of two parallel areas:
- The university sector that includes Universities, Polytechnic Schools and the School of Fine Arts
- The technological sector that includes the Higher School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPAITE)
Each Institution consists of Schools. The Schools are divided into Departments and the Departments are divided into sectors, which coordinate the teaching of part of the Department's discipline that corresponds to a specific field or fields of science.
There is an Academic Council for Higher Education and Research (ACHER) in each administrative district. The establishment of ACHER is made with the decision of the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs.
Vocational Education, Training and Lifelong Learning
In the field of Vocational Education, Training and Lifelong Learning, the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, through the General Secretariat of Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth, plans, coordinates, monitors and formulates the public policy for Vocational Education and Training and Youth.
In Greece in December 2020, law 4763/2020 was passed, concerning substantial and organizational regulations that cover the entire range of Vocational Education and Training and Learning for adults.
The governance structures of Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning are:
- The General Secretariat of Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth (GSVETLL&Y)
- The Central Council of Vocational Education and Training (CCVET)
- The Central Scientific Committee (CSC)
- The Production-Labour Market Liaison Councils (PLMLCs)
The state bodies supervised by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs are:
It is the executive body of the National Lifelong Learning Network. It develops and implements an integrated national certification system for non-formal learning (initial and continuing vocational training and general adult education) and it provides the scientific support of the Vocational Guidance and Counselling services.
It is one of the main organizations that supports the project and implements the strategy of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. Its actions and programs focus on supporting young people in their educational and professional career, their mobility as well as promoting and supporting innovation.
Regarding the role of non-public factors in education and training, federations and associations are actively involved in social life and policy-making. The competent bodies, which participate in negotiations and take a position on issues related to education, ranging from draft legislation to working conditions, are:
- The Ηellenic Federation of Teaching and Research Staff Associations (POSDEP) is the hellenic trade union body with the mission to promote the democratization and independence of universities, boost the level of studies and research in universities, foster the liaison of universities with the society and more
- The Uniform Associations of Teaching and Research Staff (ESDEP) are active, for each university at a local level
- The Ηellenic Federation of Special and Laboratory Teaching Staff Associations (POSEEDIP), is a trade union body, whose members are special and laboratory teaching staff of Greek universities
- The Ηellenic Federation of Special Technical Laboratory Personnel (POETEP) is the hellenic trade union body, whose members are special technical and laboratory staff and is active within the framework of the universities
- In the secondary education at a national level, the Federation of Secondary Education Officers (OLME) is active and the Associations of Secondary Education Officers (ELME) run at a local level, i.e. prefectures
- The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE)
- The Hellenic Confederation of Professional, Craftsmen and Merchants of Greece (GSEBEE)
- The Supreme Confederation of Civil Servants (ADEDY)
In addition, the Hellenic National Youth Council (HNYC) operates in Greece, which constitutes an independent, non-governmental, non-profit federation of youth organizations. It consists of 59 youth organizations, including six youth political parties and a number of non-governmental organizations. It is the official representative of the Greek Youth abroad and the interlocutor of the government internally, participating (institutionally) in the Interministerial Committee for Youth, the Organizing Committee of the Youth Parliament, in the National Committee on Volunteering. The Hellenic National Youth Council transcends partisan, ideological, social commitments in order to seek solutions and proposals, drawing up a new policy for the Youth, from the Youth.
In the Strategic Plan for Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth 2022-2024, reference is made to a plan for the development of cross-sectoral approaches.
In accordance with the Ministerial Decision 30964/2022, an inter-ministerial working group was set up with the aim of designing, coordinating, monitoring, promoting and shaping policy proposals implemented for youth, without discrimination and exclusions, in order to ensure rights and equal opportunities for all young people.
The inter-ministerial working group aims to record the existing policies of each Ministry concerning young people, aged 15-29, to be constantly updated and to record the implementation of policies in order to achieve sustainable development goals in areas related to the youth of each country.
Furthermore, the National Action Plan of Public Health 2021-2025, of the General Secretariat of Public Health, "Spyros Doxiadis" Plan refers to the cooperation between the Ministries of Education and Religious Affairs, Health and the Institute of Educational Policy.
In addition, a cooperation protocol has been created between the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the National Transparency Authority, with the aim of enhancing transparency and accountability in the field of Education, and the further promotion of the principles and values of public integrity through the education system.
The cross-sectoral cooperation and its importance are mentioned in the section Inclusive education in vocational education and training with main focus the joint formation of specialties of Vocational Training Institutes (IEK) for people with disabilities, with the National Confederation of People with Disabilities (NCPD) and the Ministry of Health. Moreover, the General Secretariat of Vocational Education, Training, Lifelong Learning and Youth (GSVETLL & Y) introduces the training of the educational staff of the training structures in Detention Centers, in collaboration with the Ministry for Citizen Protection.