Politics and education : the democratization of the Greek education system
This thesis is a study of the developLent of tne Greek educational system, from the foundation of the modern Greek State in 1828 to 1981. In that period, Greece underwent a series of changes in political organisation. Greece was a monarchy, a republic, a democracy and a dictatorship, was occupied by foreign powers and suffered a civil war. These political changes were of great significance for the educational system of Greece, and the development of education in each period must be seen as closely related to the peculiar political situation in each period. The thesis traces the increasing polarisation of educational politics in Greece which was linked to the violent shifts in political power in the country as a whole. It gives detail of the debates on education which centred on the question of which form of the Greek language to use as the medium of instruction in schools, and the structure and method of selection for the secondary cycle of education. However, the history of Greek education also illustrates the failure to implement important reforms. While education has been an important issue in Greek politics, exercising both politicians and the general public, many areas, especially rural areas, have remained without adequate educational provision, insufficient resources have been provided for education, and illiteracy rates have remained disturbingly high. This thesis also reveals an increasing convergence on the part of politicians from different parts oi the political spectrum with regard to educational policy. Despite the vigorous debates, the areas about which there now exis s , conoensus are considerable. The only conclusion which can be drawn from this is that if education were removed from some of the political pressures to which it has been subject in the past, and if adequate resources were to be made available, substantial improvements could be made in educational provision on the basis of broad agreement. Since education and political development are closely linked, this is also a possible way of securing the future of democratic Greece.