School dropouts

A high proportion of Greek pupils leave school after completing the compulsory minimum of nine years. An estimated 7-8 percent of them leave after completing junior high school, and Pedagogical Institute statistics reveal that 14 percent of children aged 13-18 do not attend school. The highest percentages of early leavers are in Eastern Macedonia, Thrace, Crete and the Aegean Islands, where many youngsters leave school early to work in family businesses. An estimated 100,000-150,000 minors work in Greece. That figure does not include children who work after school, on weekends or during holidays.The Children’s Ombudsman notes that the high incidence of dropouts is largely due to the non-enforcement of the law on evaluating certain categories of pupils (such as those with minor intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders).