After the introduction of the new governance system for Vocational Education and Training and in the context of the Law 4763/2020, the Ministerial Decision issued in May 2021 (K3 / 58084, Government Gazette B ‘2180, 25-5-2021) regulates issues of the educational aims for EPAL, whose pilot implementation starts in September 2021 and their full implementation will be completed in three years. According to the new legislative framework, EPAL institutions over the country will be selected in order to implement innovative methods, so as to be transformed , in the medium term, into Centers of Vocational Excellence.
By Decision of the Minister of Education, six EPAL are adopting this new innovative character and are established in six Regions of the country, namely in Argos, Epanomi, Perama, Xanthi, Igoumenitsa and Trikala. For the school year 2021-2022, the grade A will operate in the facilities of the existing – EPAL – school units.
In these EPAL, a series of systematic reforms will be implemented, such as modified curricula, that consider the labor market needs, new methodological tools and new quality criteria for resources and procedures.
The teaching programs of EPAL include general education courses, vocational guidance courses, specialty courses, and internship for (1) one day a week (duration six (6) hours) for grades B and C and which is part of the laboratory curriculum of the courses. The new methods, the increased degrees of freedom in the educational process, the training for in-service teachers of all specialties in the Training Centers, that will be created within the, so called, pilot EPAL in order to meet the new needs and the reform requirements, as well as the continuous monitoring, evaluation and feedback of the VET system, are expected to contribute to the overall effort towards strengthening and upgrading vocational education and training in Greece. Significant funding from EU resources is also provided for the implementation of these reforms.
The Minister of Education, Niki Kerameos highlights the importance of upgrading Vocational High Schools in the country: “Our intention is to provide a solid vocational education and training in the prospect of developing basic professional knowledge and skills for all branches of the economy and all professions. Our strategy for a comprehensive redefinition and upgrading of vocational education and training has been a key pillar of our policy for almost two years now. In this context, we have introduced initiatives, such as the enactment of the law 4763/2020, the strengthening of Public IEK and the introduction of the parallel studying registration in them after the completion of High School (Lykeio) and the procession of the school leaving certificate (Apolytirio), as well as the establishment for the first time of, the so called, pilot EPAL. We continue dynamically, giving our young student choices that meet the challenges of modern society and integrate their aspirations, inclinations and desires.”
Source Pilot EPAL: the next day of Vocational High Schools (EPAL)