Education in Greece
Education in Greece at all levels is centralized by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs (Υ.ΠΑΙ.Θ.). The Ministry exercises control over public schools, formulates and implements legislation, administers the budget, coordinates national level university entrance examinations, sets up the national curriculum, appoints public school teaching staff, and coordinates other services. The national supervisory role of the Ministry is exercised through Regional Unit Public Education Offices which are named Regional Directorates of Primary and Secondary School Education. Public schools and the supply of textbooks are funded by the government. About 25% of postgraduate programmes offer free tuition, while about 30% of students are eligible to attend programmes tuition-free based on individual criteria. Formal education in Greece comprises three educational stages. The first stage of formal education is the Primary stage, followed by the Secondary stage which separates into two sub-stages: the compulsory Gymnasio and non-compulsory Lyceum. The third stage involves higher education. School holidays in Greece include Christmas, Greek Independence Day, Easter, National Anniversary Day, a three-month summer holiday, National Public Holidays, and local holidays which vary by region such as the local patron saint's day. In addition to schooling, the majority of students attend extracurricular private classes at private centres called "frontistiria" or one-to-one tuition, which prepare students for higher education admission, like the Pan-Hellenic Examinations, and to learn foreign languages. Mobile phone use in school premises by students and other devices have image and audio processing, like the smartwatches, it is forbidden by law and are not allowed to be used. Students must switch off their mobile phones or put them on silent mode and keep them in their bags.