NEWS

Initial conclusions from a survey of the Greek education system

Close to one in 10 schools around the country still operate in double shifts, according to a survey by the Center for Educational Research (KEE). On the positive side, there is now one computer for every 10.3 pupils in senior high and one for every 16.5 pupils in junior high. The center evaluated what improvements were needed in the education system. KEE associate Athanassios Katsis, a lecturer in statistics at the Aegean University, made the findings of the survey available to Kathimerini. The data was gleaned from 2,662 kindergartens, primary and secondary schools (including technical high schools), out of a total of approximately 16,000. The researchers hope to complete their survey of all Greek schools by early 2004. Some of the more encouraging facts to emerge from the survey thus far are that 22 percent of teachers have a postgraduate degree and that as more funds become available, more computers are being installed in schools – although it is not certain how they are being put to use. Most secondary schools (81.7 percent) have Internet access, compared to just 20.6 percent of primary schools. The biggest problem in the state system appears to be premises, as a high percentage of schools (44.8 percent of kindergartens, 43.5 percent of primary schools, 42.5 percent of junior highs and 58.5 percent of senior highs) are housed in premises that are not solely for their own use. Double shifts, once common, have been reduced to 7.2 percent of schools nationwide, with just 1.5 percent operating only in the afternoons. Most schools (76.1 percent) are in residential areas, but 27.4 percent are next to roads with heavy traffic, 8.5 percent near sources of high noise pollution and 5.5 percent near factories. However, provisions have been made in 57.6 percent of cases to create green spaces alongside school premises. Playgrounds exist in all but 1 percent of primary schools, 0.5 percent of percent of junior highs and 2 percent of senior high schools.