Adult Education in Greece

Christos Doukas


What is meant in the country when you talk about Adult Education?
All definitions are included in the law (3879/21/09/2010) (article2, par.8) “General adult education”: Includes all organized learning activities addressing adults and aims to enrich knowledge, development and improvement of competences and skills, personality development of individual and active citizenship and mitigating the social and cultural inequalities ties. Provided by institutions of formal education or non-formal education. The informal self-directed learning is not included as it is regarded as informal learning. The vocational training is considered as aiming to carrier development.  All forms of organized Adult Education are provided by public, municipal or private institutions.

What is typical for Adult Education in the country?
Formal General Adult Education is provided by Higher Education Institutions. Non Formal General Education is provided by the General Secretariat for LLL and its decentralized structures.

Legal basis
Law 2909/2001, Law. 3699/2008, Law 3879/2010, Law 4186/2013. The common point in all the above laws is the reorganization of the system of Adult Education in the LLL direction as concerns structures, content and methodologies.

Responsible public bodies / ministries
The Ministry of Education is responsible for Adult Education.  Ministry of Employment is responsible for training in connection to employment. Under those Ministries there are several types of Institutions such as Second Chance Schools, Centres for Adult Education and Centres for Vocational training, training for unemployed etc. Certain ministries provide training programs as well.  Many Municipalities offer a wide range of courses. The parents’ education is also included as well as language courses for immigrants. The Workers, central unions have the right to offer such courses as well. For a better coordination of the network, a national continuous forum for General Adult Education has been established with the participation of all the relevant institutions.

Relevant umbrella associations and national (service) organisations
The main umbrella public organizations are the General Secretariat for Lifelong learning (Ministry of Education, GSLLL) and the National Organization for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Training under the Ministry of Education (EOPPEP). EOPPEP is the responsible institution for the development of LLL, the National Qualification Framework and the relevant recognition of competences of professional qualifications.

Providers of Adult Education
Mainly the general adult education public institutions will be presented here. Centers for Adult Education situated throughout the country (58), parents’ schools (55), Second Chance Schools (57). The Center for distance adult education offers programs as well. The centres for vocational training mainly offer courses for continuous training. There are several private colleges which offer courses for adults in parallel with university courses but they are only recently under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.

Mainly state funded. Also funded by Municipal budgets. A main source of finance is the European funds.
The tendency is to decentralise the Institutions towards the supervision and funding of local authorities. However this is not realised yet.

Participation rate
Early school leavers are the target group for second chance schools, the general population, immigrants, farmers. The LLL indicator value for 2008 was 2,9%. The main obstacles for non-participation was the time due to family and work. The cost is the next reason (Eurostat yearbook 2010).

New technologies, completion of general education (Second Chance Schools), culture, literacies, language history and culture for immigrants, parents’ education, new technologies, farmers training, health education, civil protection.

In public institutions like second chance schools teachers from secondary education are the main staff. In the rest of institutions trainers are hired for each course according to certain criteria and qualifications. A center for distance training of adult trainers and managers of the sector is functioning under the General Scretariat for LLL.

Quality system / insurance
A National Framework of Quality has been  introduced in the LLL area  concerning trainers’ qualifications and infrastructures, learning procedures (learning material and applications),  criteria for learning outcomes, competencies and their recognition.

Latest developments / main problems in the discussion
Recent developments in the area aim at the redesign of LLL and Adult Education within it. Main points are included in the new legal framework for LLL as follows:

A. Law 3879/2010 about the development of LLL:
1. All Lifelong learning activities are organized under a general national framework.
2. All activities and financing are included in the national program for LLL and the implementation program.
3. The national qualification framework and the vocational profiles are introduced.
4. More synergies between LLL and employment are introduced.
5. More procedures for accreditation and quality assessment are introduced
6. The LLL implementation in Municipalities and regions is defined

B. Law 4186/2013 about the organization of regional  services of the non-formal education:
This Law establishes decentralized services for LLL. The services belong and are supervised by the General Secretary for LLL. Specifically in each of the 13 Greek regions,an  administration for LLL is institutionalized (Administration  for  LLL).
In the regions of Attiki (Athens) and Central Macedonia (Thessaloniki), more than one Administrations are institutionalized. All the functions of LLL are described in detail within the institutional arrangement. Institutions of Adult education like Centers for LLL and Second Chance Schools all included, among others programs, in these new structures.

Relevant Links:

EAEA Country presentation: Greece
Euridyce: Structures of Education and Training Systems in Europe – Greece