An Education Ministry agency has raised the alarm over the poor performance of a large number of high school students and has called for immediate measures to address the problem.
In its annual report for 2019, the Authority for Quality Assurance in Primary and Secondary Education (ADIPPDE) said that a large percentage of 11th graders, in particular, at regular and technical public high schools are at risk of going through life with functional illiteracy – which is generally defined as having skills that are inadequate to manage daily living and employment tasks.
More specifically, 7.1 percent of 11th graders in public high schools in the 2017-18 academic year failed in the subject of Modern Greek, while almost one in two (48.4 percent) received grades below the minimum pass mark in physics.
Another 44.2 percent and 38.9 percent also fell below the threshold in geometry and algebra respectively.
The performance of 11th graders appears even more disheartening at technical high schools, where one in five students (20.4 percent) failed to receive an overall passing grade.
More than half (52.7 percent) failed algebra and 51.3 percent fell short in geometry. Students also fared badly in physics and chemistry, with only 41 percent and 40.8 respectively receiving a passing grade.
The report said that problems identified in high school can be traced to elementary and middle school and that it is imperative for education policy to intervene pre-emptively at both the primary and secondary levels.
It also stressed that “special care must immediately be given to technical high schools.”
In its recommendations, the authority called for a reform of the legislative framework governing pupil assessment at different levels. Moreover, it added that teachers must receive training to help them assess students at different levels. It also insisted that teachers be given support to further exploit open digital educational content.