With the aim of eliciting input from Ekto Gymnasio Mytilinis and other local secondary schools in Greece about school-based sexuality education, many pupils have responded to a questionnaire —similar to the one used in the early stages of the AllInc! project’s deployment—, which assessed self-appraised, sex-related descriptors, personal experience with, and recommendations for school-based sexuality education.
The Greek public school system was found to deliver unsatisfactory sexuality education —in most cases of four months’ duration, to only about one third of its pupils, who actually become sexually active earlier than other youth—.
Although school ranked medium-low among the main sources of information on sexuality, and Greek pupils considered school less important than other nationals as a source of sexuality information, all pupils unanimously asked for school-based sexuality education, to be repeated at different grade levels and delivered by a specially-trained and approachable teacher, covering physiological and interpersonal aspects of sexuality.
In the past, sexuality education in Greece was part of a non-compulsory educational program, and it was merely referred to during the “Theme Week” in secondary education. But Greek society was totally unprepared to accept any innovation/initiation concerning sexuality in the educational system.
The Greek Ministry of Education has introduced, starting in the 2021-2022 academic year, so-called “Skills Workshops”, such as sex education, robotics, entrepreneurship, volunteering and road safety. Sexuality education through the workshops was integrated in nation-wide compulsory curricula for primary and secondary education in September 2021.
The Greek Minister of Education, Niki Kerameus, referred to a change in philosophy so that schools also focus, apart from the transmission of knowledge, on the cultivation of skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, empathy and teamwork. Many national qualitative and quantitative analyses revealed that pupils, especially in secondary education, have received very little knowledge of issues related to gender relationships, sexuality, sexual diversity and dignity. For these reasons, the Greek Ministry of Education announced the integration of sexuality education as an axis of the “Skills Workshops” in the compulsory school curriculum. This educational reform promises to contribute greatly to an inclusive education.
This post contributed by the Greek team of Aggeliki and Panagiotis from Ekto Gymnasio Mytilinis — Ευχαριστώ, ομάδα!!