Development Education in Greece

Development Education

Historical Background

Greece emerged as an independent State in 1830 after four long centuries of Ottoman rule at one third its present size, borderlines and population; the first two (size and borderlines) expanded and stabilised over a hundred year period right up to the Peace treaties signed after World War II.
The specific characteristics of the Greek people have been defined and sharpened by the classical heritage, the language continuity, the Eastern orthodox Christian values, the Mediterranean climate and the country's geographical position. Namely, the average person has a keen sense of homogeneity, a mentality of everyday interpersonal solidarity, together with an openness and interested awareness towards what is happening in the world.

Three factors have enabled the Greek public to readily identify with the people of the developing Third World countries: the absence of any colonial tradition; a similar absence of Greek Orthodox missionary activity similar to the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, and the tough challenges posed to them at present by Greece's own development. These factors make a good basis for global solidarity.

Today, Greece as a member of the European Community and the Council of Europe brings its own strengths and weaknesses to the specific issues of our times; such as

The Social and Political Context

These concerns opened the way to post-World-War- Two Reconstruction and Development in terms of GNP and growth of buying and consumer power. An ever- widening social circle of individuals accessed the benefits of economic growth, whilst upward mobility through educational opportunities was enhanced for the following generations beyond the 1960s.
Associative life has been an important factor in shaping Greek society; it continues to be so. Both inside and outside the state sector, the Greeks form societies- educational, welfare, cultural - whose activities are often orientated towards the needs of their native village or township in terms of roads, hospitals, schools, libraries, public parks and monuments.

NGDO-EC Liaison Committee: Development Education Group