Secondary Education

Greek education for young teens and youths...

Secondary schooling is divided into two sections: gymnasio (which is compulsory) and lykeio (which is not compulsory).

Compulsory secondary education

Gymnasio is the first level of secondary education (equivalent to middle or junior high school) and is compulsory for children aged 12 to 15. It lasts three years. The gymnasia school year generally runs from mid-September to mid-May, with classes five days a week. The school week is 34 to 35 hours. Both public and private gymnasia are available.

Pupil assessment is an ongoing process based on daily oral work, written tests, assignments, and projects. Written examinations are held at the end of each term. A leaving certificate allows pupils to continue their studies by enrolling at a lykeio or enter a vocational training programme at the Technical-Vocational Educational Institutes (TEE).

Non-compulsory secondary education

There are two types of schooling available following completion of compulsory education in Greece:

  1. Unified upper secondary schools (eniaia lykeia/lykeio)
  2. Technical-vocational Educational Institutes (TEE)

Unified Upper Secondary Schools: The duration of schooling at eniaia lykeia is three years. Lykeio is equivalent to senior high school and, though not compulsory, the majority of students complete it. The lykeio school year generally runs from mid-September to mid-May and the academic week is five days long, with 30-35 hours of instruction.

The first year involves a curriculum of general knowledge, at the end of which students may choose to enter a vocational training programme at the TEE. Conversely, students that opted for a year of TEE instead of lykeio may opt to attend lykeio for one year. After a course of study at the TEE, lykeio, or a combination of both, students will take examinations and, if successfully completed, receive a leaving certificate. The leaving certificate can be used to go on to higher education or vocational training, such as that provided through the Greek Manpower Employment Organisation (OAED).

  • For further information about vocational training through the OAED: Click here

At the end of lykeio studies, pupils receive their leaving certificate (Apolitirio Eniaiou Lykeiou), and have the following options:

  • to seek admission to higher education
  • to study at a Vocational Training Institute (IEK)
  • to seek employment in the public or private sector

Technical Vocational Educational Institutes (TEE): The duration of schooling at vocational schools is two (A level) or three years (B level). Successful completion entitles the graduate to a Leaving Certificate, which permits them to practice a trade, to register in a corresponding specialisation at a Vocational Training Institute (IEK), or to seek admission to a Technological Education Institute (TEI)

Vocational Training Institutes (IEK): Students can obtain a vocational skill at Vocational Training Institutes. These are technically considered an unclassified level of education as they accept students from both upper and lower secondary-schools.