Greek private education is expected to turn a new page as the increase in enrollments at private schools has been followed by interest from Geek and foreign investment funds to establish new schools.
The upward trend in enrollments essentially started in 2017-18, while an area of increased interest is the coastal suburb of Elliniko in southern Athens, where a large-scale urban regeneration development project has been planned.
Interest in private schools now rivals the heyday of 2005 and 2006, when strikes by teachers at public schools turned many parents to private institutions. And with only 5.85% of students attending private schools, there is strong belief in the sector that there is ample room for further growth.
The current increase in parental interest began at the end of the last decade and is attributed to the apparent reversal of the economic climate after a period of acute financial recession. Interest also increased due to the pandemic.
This was because, according to the president of the Federation of Private School Teachers in Greece (OIELE), Giorgos Christopoulos, during the first quarantine in March 2020, private schools acted decisively, organizing fast and efficient distance learning platforms compared to public schools. As a result, enrollments at private schools have recorded an average increase of about 10%, said the president of the Hellenic Association of Independent Schools, Charalambos Kyrailidis.
At the same time, investments in the sector are moving along, as suggested by the announcement of the establishment of a kindergarten and primary school at Pierce College in northern Athens.
Kathimerini also understands that a group of tuition centers has expressed interest in establishing a school in Koropi, while two other well-known private schools – one from Attica and one from Thessaloniki – are interested in establishing units in the area of Elliniko.
Kyrailidis said that foreign funds from Britain and Switzerland have also shown an interest in investing in private education in Greece, through the merger of small schools.