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Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for measure GR-2022-10/2357 – measures in Greece

Integration of Ukrainian refugee children into the Greek education system

Drasis tou Ipourgiou Paideias gia tin ensomatosi Oukranon paidion sto elliniko ekpaideftiko sistima (Δράσεις του Υπουργείου Παιδείας για την Ενσωμάτωση Ουκρανών παιδιών προσφύγων στο ελληνικό εκπαιδευτικό σύστημα

Country Greece , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 01 March 2022
Context War in Ukraine
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Measures to prevent social hardship
– Access to childcare and education
Author Penny Georgiadou (INE GSEE)
Measure added 20 May 2022 (updated 20 June 2022)

Background information

After the entry of thousands of minor refugees from Ukraine into Greece, the Ministry of Education, took a series of interrelated measures in order to facilitate their access and integration into the Greek educational system. In this context, reception school classes for Ukrainian refugee students have been established since March, while enrolment procedures were simple and interpretation issues have been addressed in cooperation with UNICEF.

In addition, at European level, the Greek Minister of Education made a proposal, which was accepted by the EU Council of Ministers of Education, for the establishment of a European task force group to assist the educational community in Ukraine.

Content of measure

In Greece, the education of Ukrainian minors was included in the existing operating program for the education of refugee students, which has been in place since 2016.

The program was organized according to age groups and includes:

  • the establishment of kindergarten classes within the refuge shelters,
  • the establishment and operation of Refugee Education Reception Structures (D.Y.E.P.) in the school (elementary and secondary schools), near to the accommodation refugee facilities
  • the organization of programs for learning the mother tongue. The coordination and monitoring of the educational work is coordinated by the Refugee Education Coordinators (S.E.P.) in the Refugee Accommodation Centers.

The needs for additional teachers were met by additional recruitments and the repatriation of Greek teachers working in Ukraine.

Τhe education of all refugees, including Ukrainians, continues to be financed by the Asylum Fund (European funds).

More analytically the integration of Ukrainian refugee children into the Greek educational system include:

  • Integration of students in τthe Reception school classes having little or no knowledge of the Greek language for 15 hours per week, with an intensive programme for learning the Greek language as a foreign language. Also, within the general department, the attendance of courses where verbal communication is not primary (art, informatics, music, gymnastics, foreign language), is enhanced.
  • Τelephone and face-to-face interpretation into Ukrainian and Greek for parents and teachers, for enrolment in schools or other procedural issues, through the cooperation between the Ministry of Education and UNICEF.
  • Guide on education in Greece and the protocols in force for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus, in Ukrainian.
  • Multilingual educational integration guide for the first weeks at the Greek school "In the classroom” in Ukrainian and Russian
  • Guide for the reception of students by teachers and the realization of 2 two-hour training seminars.
  • Immediate actions for the repatriation of Greek teachers serving in Ukraine and their incorporation in the Greek educational system.
  • Psychosocial support of students and teachers by Psychologists and Social Workers.

Use of measure

According to the Ministry of Citizen Protection, since the beginning of the war the war until the third of May 2022, 24,656 Ukrainian nationals came in Greece, of whom 6,679 are minors.

Also, according to the figures of the Ministry of Education, as of 31 May 2022, 721 students are attending education, of which 575 are in primary education and 148 in secondary education. Regarding the geographical distribution of Ukrainian students, the majority of them are in Attica (226 students) and Central Macedonia (203 students). An additional number of 73 students attend schooling in Peloponnese, 70 in Crete, 39 in Eastern Macedonia Thrace, seven in the North Aegean, 25 in Western Greece, four in western Macedonia, six in Epirus, 27 in Thessaly, 11 in the Ionian Islands, 22 in the Southern Aegean, and eight in Central Greece.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Does not apply to businesses Children (minors)
Migrants or refugees

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
Other social actors (e.g. NGOs)
European Funds
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role No involvement No involvement
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • No involvement
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


There was no involvement of social partners.

Views and reactions

Since 2016, the Greek Primary Teachers’ Federation (DOE) is supporting and demanding that the education of refugees and migrant children has to be take place within the public schools and kindergartens, along with the rest of the Greek children, under conditions of co-education and was opposed to the creation of “ghetto education" schools. To this end, DOE called for: the registration of all refugees and migrant children in the public education system and those under four years of age to enrolled in kindergartens without any preconditions; DOE also demands massive recruitments of permanent teaching staff.

The Greek Federation of Secondary Education State School Teachers (OLME) on the occasion of the Nationwide Strike of six April 2022, among others demands the "Timely start of reception classes and DYEP for refugee children as well as integration classes..."



Eurofound (2022), Integration of Ukrainian refugee children into the Greek education system, measure GR-2022-10/2357 (measures in Greece), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,


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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.