NEWS

Schools need to work harder

A large number of improvements have been made in the country’s education sector encouraging sporting and cultural activities but more work is needed to make more efficient use of resources available, according to the results of a survey made public yesterday. The Education Research Center of Greece (KEE), a government-funded group that supervises research projects, found that schools had been supplied with the necessary equipment, but that it had sometimes been improperly utilized. Nearly three quarters of schools had a library on the premises, although only 61 percent of these actually operated. The study assessed the country’s preschools, primary and high schools from 2001-2002. Additionally, the vast majority of schools (97.8 percent) offered students access to a computer. However, a low percentage of pupils finish primary and secondary education with even a basic knowledge of computing, raising questions as to whether information technology is being taught with any degree of effectiveness. Steps have been made toward improving equipment, although more fundamental changes have yet to materialize. Two in five schools offer little green space while 26.6 percent have no trees or grassy areas at all. About one third of students said that they were satisfied with the available green area, with preschool centers getting the best marks. The study also found that students show a preference for arts and sporting activities from a young age. Almost half of kindergarten children (45.9 percent) were involved in a theatrical activity while 21.4 percent of four-year-olds have taken their first dance steps. Out of the preschool students that choose a sporting activity, the majority opt for rhythmic gymnastics. Junior and senior high school students show a clear preference for theater, dance and singing lessons. The favorite sports among the teenage group are soccer, basketball and volleyball.