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Descriptions of the legal system for assessment - Greece

According to the Presidential Decree 8/29-12-94 article 1, “Educational assessment is the systematic process of inspection of the degree to which the educational objectives and targets are accomplished”. This assessment may take place on an individual level, on a classroom level, on a school unit level and also on a regional and national level, through the use of the appropriate methodology. The assessment of a pupil is a continuous educational process which forms the basis for the monitoring and evaluation of the pupil’s progress. The basic aim of the assessment is the continuous improvement of instruction and the general operation of the school plus the constant briefing of  teachers and pupils on the outcomes of their efforts.

The compulsory system of education assessment is not only based on the performance in the various subjects but also to other factors such as effort made by the pupil, interest shown in the teaching materials, initiatives, creativity, co-operation with peer pupils in the classroom, respect for school regulations (Greek Educational System, I-Curriculum, a Minerva project Funded by the European Commission, DG Education and Culture, IAM/FORTH, November 2003)

Pupil assessment relies on the evaluation of their progress on the basis of specific criteria derived from learning objectives and not from comparison with other learners 

The following criteria are taken into consideration:

  • The acquisition of knowledge and skills in relation to everyday life as well as the development of positive attitudes, values and behaviour.
  • The performance and progress in relation to previous progress of the individual child.
  • The stage of the individual linguistic development, as well as the opportunities provided for learning in the social and family environment.

Assessment serves mainly :

  • To improve the quality of education so as to increase motivation for learning.
  • To identify learning difficulties and plan appropriate interventions thereby allowing improvement of the teaching process.
  • To encourage pupils’ responsibility for learning so as to involve them in developing their personality, thus increasing their self-confidence.

Assessment of pupils with special educational needs

The assessment of pupils with special needs is based on the general principles of assessment for all pupils in compulsory level, paying particular attention to the knowledge and skills of each individual.

Particular emphasis is given:

  • To the holistic assessment of the pupil which takes into account all aspects of their unique educational experience, covering cognitive practical and affective elements and focusing on their strengths, rather than on their weaknesses.
  • To the motivating principle of assessment (encouragement of effort).
  • To the correlation of assessment results with each pupils’ individualised educational programme. As the aim of assessment involves gathering information for decision making and for the degree of pupils’ integration, it takes into account the special educational provisions and resources required for the pupil.
  • To encourage teachers to use all forms of assessment (e.g. use of tests, oral examinations), so as to improve pupils’ skills according to their age and mental maturity. Assisted by their teachers pupils may acquire increasingly effective self-assessment skills (2004,Leonardo da Vinci, project SPERO,  WP 2 Greece , The Greek system of assessment at all educational levels)

For primary school pupils, assessment is not an end in itself and is certainly not antagonistic in nature. It is not concerned only with the performance of the pupil on school subjects, rather it is concerned with other characteristics as well, such as the effort he/she makes, the pupil’s initiatives, his/her creativity, his/her co–operation with others and respect for the school rules. 

Under Law 2817/2000, the issue of a Presidential Decree is foreseen for regulating matters concerning examinations, assessment and marking of pupils with special needs who attend both, special and mainstream schools. The more general subject of assessment of pupils with certain categories of diagnosed disabilities and serious learning difficulties is regulated by a PD.

According to the Presidential Decree 8, article 2, the assessment of pupils on the primary level is carried out by the class teachers and is based on:

  • Daily oral examination of the pupils’, their participation in the instructional process and other school activities,
  • The results of their performance within the evaluation criteria, which are an instrumental element of the school curriculum and are included in the teaching material, and
  • The results of homework assignments or assignments performed at school. Moreover, apart from the evaluation criteria that are incorporated in the teaching material, the teacher may add additional criteria wherever those are deemed necessary. 

According to the same decree, article 5, teachers meet mainstreamly to discuss issues relevant to the pupils’ progress in all aspects of the educational process. Every three months a pedagogical council takes place where all school personnel are present. The pupils’ progress is assessed both on a classroom and on a school level in general. Following this, the classroom teachers are responsible for briefing the parents. The co-operation between teachers and parents is a valuable tool in providing information about the pupil on how the teachers can better understand the pupils and therefore assess them accordingly. The meetings among the teachers for assessing the pupils as well as the meetings with the pupils’ parents are incorporated in the yearly planning of school activities that are made known to the School Advisor. 

Finally, according to article 3, a descriptive assessment is applied for pupils of all grades  during the primary period which includes issues related to the broader content of the term ‘assessment’ as well as all the activities of the pupils within the school environment. The descriptive assessment enables teachers to inform pupils and parents in detail about the outcome of their efforts. 

According to the Presidential Decree 8/29-12-94, article 2, pupils with special educational needs are not assessed and graded on the subjects that they have an objective difficulty to follow and consequently to be assessed on. Nevertheless, they participate on the instruction on those subjects up to the point that they are able to. Additionally, the assessment of the pupils that are in a special class is performed by the class teacher of the mainstream class, in collaboration with the teacher of the special class. Moreover, the pupils with special educational needs in mainstream classrooms must be evaluated and assessed according to a report performed by the medico pedagogical evaluation centre. Last but not least, according to Circular C6 /106 /3.4.92 pupils with dyslexia are exempt from any written exams and are assessed only orally. 

In order to evaluate the effectiveness of schools and for research purposes, there are certain periods where examining tests take place on a national and regional level based on specifically developed criteria. The Pedagogical Institute and other scientific sectors administered by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs perform these examining tests. The final results of these tests are disseminated to the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, the Pedagogical Institute, the Special Needs Advisors, the Educational Administration Offices and the schools that participated.

According to the existing legislation, pupils with SEN are assessed with compassion and comparative leniency, aiming at supporting and encouraging them. More specifically:

Pupils’ with mental retardation in primary special schools are assessed by the use of verbal characterisations: very good (A), good (B), satisfactory (C), unsatisfactory (D) and E and F as numerical grading. In special primary schools for pupils with motor, vision and hearing disabilities, assessment is carried out in the same way as pupils in the respective mainstream schools.

In mainstream schools of primary and secondary education, pupils with SEN are assessed in the same way as that applied for pupils without SEN.

In primary education, pupils with SEN are promoted from one grade to the next on the condition that their annual school performance is evaluated as: Very Good (A), Good (B) or Satisfactory (C). Pupils whose performance is evaluated as Unsatisfactory (D) must repeat the grade. The promotion procedures of pupils with special needs attending mainstream schools or special schools of primary and secondary education for pupils with motor, vision and hearing disorders are the same as those applied in mainstream schools.The pedagogical and scientific guidance and support of the pupils and their parents are achieved through close co-operation between teachers in special schools and the Diagnostic Evaluation and Support Centres (KDAY). Also, 16 special education School Advisers are responsible for co-ordinating the special schools belonging to their region and responsibility. In the near future, three more special education School Advisers are going to be recruited, one for the schools for the blind/partially blind and two for the schools for the deaf/hard-of-hearing.

According to article 30, Presidential Decree 26/2002, pupils with SEN, who have been certified by the competent services of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, attending Eniaio Lykeio (or any other level of education, for reasons of equal treatment), are examined orally or written, depending on their abilities, and are assessed on the basis of only one of the following types of examination.

More specifically:

  • Only oral examination is provided for:
    • the blind and those suffering from serious vision disorders,
    • pupils incapable of written examinations due to a permanent or temporary physical disorder, and
    • pupils suffering from dyslexia.
  • Only written examination is provided for:The deaf and the hard of hearing pupils (disability percentage above 67%), along with those who suffer from speech disorders (articulation difficulty, stammering, etc).

 

Source:

  • Chapter: General Part,  from : “A Cross Thematic Curriculum Framework for Compulsory Education, Translated from the Official Gazette issue B, nr 303/13-03-03 and issue B, nr 304/13-03-03 by members of the P.I. main staff and teachers seconded to the P.I.” at:  http://www.pi-schools.gr/
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