Improving education and training will boost growth and productivity in Greece


23/5/2017 - Greece should prioritise investment in education and training and improve the quality of teaching and educational leadership in order to boost medium and long-term growth prospects, according to a new OECD report.


Education outcomes in Greece are close to the OECD average in math, reading and science; however, they have not shown any improvements in the last decade. Particularly in science, Greece has had the strongest decreases among PISA participating countries between 2006 and 2015, in an environment of decreasing public expenditure in education (a 6% decrease between 2014 and 2015).


Education Policy in Greece: A Preliminary Assessment analyses the state of education in the country and includes recommendations for improvements. According to the report, additional emphasis should be placed on early childhood education and care, and in directing resources to the neediest schools, says the OECD. In the context of the economic crisis and other immediate pressing difficulties, delegating formal legislative, financial and human resource responsibilities to local actors will need to take place gradually, and be linked to sustained efforts to develop the capacity to exercise new responsibilities.


OECD Chief of Staff and Head of the OECD-Greece Joint Steering Committee, Ms Gabriela Ramos, stressed that “building a first class education system in Greece is the most effective way to strengthen the country’s capacity to promote inclusive growth from within; strengthen its competitiveness; and improve its productivity”. She also explained that “through this project the OECD is working with the Ministry of Education to help them design new measures and frameworks to promote greater school autonomy; develop educational leadership; develop greater assessment and evaluation capacities; and develop all-day schools.”  


The Greek Minister of Education, Kostas Gavroglu, whose Ministry has provided full support to the OECD-Greek project from its earliest stages, stated that “there are many challenges to be faced and many problems to be resolved in order for Greek education to return to normality. This report can be a first step towards an effective review of education in Greece, one that would acknowledge the dramatic changes that the economic crisis had in the context of education. There is a need to draw on reliable evidence and data to pursue actionable policy options that would strengthen public education towards an equitable, democratic society.”


This report paves the way for the second phase of the project “Education Policy in Greece: An OECD Review”, which began in April 2017 and will be completed by April 2018. Phase 2 will carry out a deeper analysis and focus on delivering concrete policy recommendations to the Greek government in the following areas: Effective governance; Policies for school improvement; Improving the efficiency, equity and quality of the entire education system; and Addressing the quality, governance and funding of tertiary education.


This collaboration adds to other key projects that the OECD has completed and is currently conducting with the Greek government, and with the support of the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Service, in the areas of competition and anti-corruption.


For more information please contact the OECD Media Room (+33 1 45 24  97 00).


Download the report


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