Greek schools open for refugees


Kids across Greece are grabbing their notebooks and packing their backpacks this week in preparation for the start of the school year on Tuesday, September 11.

If you’re wondering whether your children can attend Greek schools, rest assured that refugee children are welcome no matter what their asylum status is.

Documents shouldn’t be a problem, as long as the Asylum Service or the police have registered your kids.

But you will need a proof of vaccination. Find out more on how you can get your kids vaccinated.

Don’t worry about missing the deadlines. Have in mind that refugee children can enroll anytime throughout the school year, even past the registration period.

More classes added across Greece

This school year starts with some good news for refugee children and their families.

Afternoon classes (or so-called DYEP classes) will start later this year  for recently arrived refugee children who speak little to no Greek, and live in official camps on the mainland.

Special afternoon classes will also start taking place on the following islands:

  • Lesvos
  • Chios
  • Samos
  • Leros
  • Rhodes
  • Kos

These afternoon classes will take place in schools located near official camps. The children attending will get free transportation to school and will study Greek, English, math and science.

Refugee children will also join the formal morning school, where they will attend regular classes with Greek students and will get support in their studies through specialized reception classes (or so-called ZEP classes).

The Greek Ministry of Education announced that around 1,000 reception classes in total will operate this school year. The ministry will add more special reception classes for children in schools, and for the first time, create reception classes for children in gymnasiums and lyceums across Greece.

The focus in these reception classes will be on Greek language skills and children will attend alongside Greek students.

Refugee education coordinators who work for the Greek Ministry of Education are ready to facilitate school enrollment for kids at all levels of education in camps on the mainland and on the islands, as well as in major urban areas around Greece.

How can I enroll my children?

Refugee.Info worked closely with the Greek Ministry of Education to compile all the information you need on how to enroll your kids in school.

Our team translated all relevant content for kids 5 to 18 years old in Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, French and Greek. UNICEF provided translations in Turkish, Kurmanji and Sorani with the help of the NGO Metadrasi.

Kindergarten (for kids who are 5 years old)

Primary school and gymnasium (for kids 6 to 15)

High school and lyceum (for kids 15 to 18)

Some basic Greek vocabulary for school

The Refugee.Info team also created an easy-to-use and printable school glossary to help you and your kids learn some basic Greek words, and better communicate with the school principal, teachers, and the other parents and students.

Have a great school year, everyone!

If you experience any problems registering your kids in school, you can message us on Facebook and we will let the Greek Ministry of Education know about it.