The curricula and timetables for Primary and Secondary Education are drawn up and proposed to the Ministry of Education by the Pedagogical Institute and, since the school year 1998-1999, the curricula for Primary and Secondary education have been considered as part of a single philosophy which is applied by the establishment of the Uniform Curriculum Framework for Primary and Secondary education (Law 2525/97).
Curricula constitute complete guides to the educational task and include mainly:
Clearly formulated objectives, per subject, within the framework of the general and special objectives of education for each level.
The material to be taught is determined for each level in accordance with the objective of the subject; it is proportional and adequate to the requirements of the timetable and to the pupil's abilities to assimilate. It is structured in individual units and subjects.
Indicative directions concerning the method and means of teaching for every unit or subject.
Curricula are drawn up, tested experimentally, evaluated and reviewed constantly to reflect developments in the field of knowledge, social needs and the progress made in the Science of Education.
The curricula, especially those for the nine years of compulsory schooling, have internal coherence and a uniform development of their content.
Textbooks for pupils and teachers are based on the curricula. Curricula are developed on six levels, one for each of the six grades of primary school. Thus, we have one curriculum for the 1stgrade, another for the 2nd, and so on.
Minor differentiations from the above timetable apply to schools with few teachers (e.g. one teacher, two teachers etc.), the main differentiating factor being that the number of teaching hours for schools with one and two teachers increases to thirty (30) per week.
Teachers must follow the curriculum in terms of both its content and its stratification into levels corresponding to the six grades of the primary school. All the courses are compulsory for all pupils and are considered to be of equal value. In the vast majority of primary schools all the courses in one grade –or section– are taught by the same teacher, except for English, Physical Education and Music which are taught by specialized teachers. Teachers are obliged to follow the curriculum. However, the method they use to approach the teaching goals is a matter of personal choice and, certainly, a product of their own education, their further training and the pedagogical guidance offered to them by school advisers. To the same end, however, the Pedagogical Institute provides instructions for better teaching, both in the curriculum texts and especially in the teachers' books that necessarily accompany every course for every grade.
Text books are provided free of charge, with most
subjects also having a test book for homework exercises.
All lessons follow a particular structure. For instance,
in Greek language lessons there will always be a story
or a poem to read with grammar and syntax exercises,
dictation and sometimes composition tasks to complete.
Religious education covers both the New and Old
Testaments as well as Christian orthodox ceremonies.
Mathematics includes geometry and the books will include
theory, examples and exercises for every lesson. Physics
includes chemistry. History begins in an introductory
way in the 3rd class, the 4th class deals with mythology
and ancient Greek history, the 5th class involves
looking at the history of the Byzantine Empire
culminating in modern Greek history by year 6. The
subject of geography begins with local and national
geography before broadening into Europe and world
geography by the 6th class.
A programme of Remedial Teaching (Enyschitiki Didaskalia) is provided at the primary level in the courses of Language and/or Mathematics aiming to help pupils who have difficulties in understanding and assimilating the subjects taught, and enhance the educational and cultural level of the pupils, especially those who have learning difficulties.
Finally, All-day Primary Schools (Oloimero Demotiko Scholeio) are in operation, with an extended timetable and an enriched Curriculum. These schools, however, are legally obliged to implement the relevant curriculum with optional implementation of study programmes of the next day's subjects, programmes which develop pupil's creativity and remedial programmes for pupils with learning difficulties.
more information you can get from the Greek Ministry of Education http://www.ypepth.gr/en_ec_home.htm