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A view on the Greek shadow education at the era of the economic crisis. How do private tutors’ working conditions are formed?

Authors:

Abstract

Shadow education is regarded by the majority of Greek students as a means to improve their school performance and maximize their chances of admission to higher education institutions. The financial crisis that struck Greece in 2009, has left its marks on all sectors of its economy; employers and employees in shadow education institutions have also been affected to a significant extend. The purpose of this study is to investigate private tutors’ working conditions as they have evolved in the period of the financial crisis. It is also examined the engagement of private tutors with financially vulnerable social groups and the degree at which the former alters their financial expectations in order not to exclude the latter from receiving complementary tutoring. Article visualizations: </p
European Journal of Education Studies
ISSN: 2501 - 1111
ISSN-L: 2501 - 1111
Available on-line at: www.oapub.org/edu
Copyright © The Author(s). All Rights Reserved. 310
DOI: 10.46827/ejes.v8i3.3649
Volume 8 Issue 3 2021
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION
AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS. HOW DO PRIVATE
TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
Chatzidaki Natasha1
i
,
Kyridis Argyris2,
Kechagias Christos Thomas3
1Philologist, Md Social Neurosciences,
Social Pedagogy and Education,
Department of Primary Education,
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
Greece
orcid.org/0000-0001-5967-2707
2Professor of Sociology,
Sociology of Education and Research Methods,
School of Early Childhood Education (SECEd),
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Auth),
Greece
orcid.org/0000-0003-1811-1406
3Laboratory Teaching Staff,
Faculty of Primary Education,
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,
PhD, Sociology, Philosophy, Culture,
MA, Sociobiology, Neurosciences and Education,
Greece
orcid.org/0000-0001-8302-3555
Abstract:
Shadow education is regarded by the majority of Greek students as a means to improve
their school performance and maximize their chances of admission to higher education
institutions. The financial crisis that struck Greece in 2009, has left its marks on all sectors
of its economy; employers and employees in shadow education institutions have also
been affected to a significant extend. The purpose of this study is to investigate private
tutors’ working conditions as they have evolved in the period of the financial crisis. It is
also examined the engagement of private tutors with financially vulnerable social groups
and the degree at which the former alters their financial expectations in order not to
exclude the latter from receiving complementary tutoring.
i
Correspondence: email chatzidaki.natasha@gmail.com
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 311
Keywords: shadow education, shadow education in Greece, shadow education and
economic crisis
1. Introduction
Primary and secondary education in Greece is free and public with the costs of operating
the education system being covered by the state’s (Psacharopoulos & Papakonstantinou,
2005; Zambeta & Kolofousi, 2014). Its main objective is not only the progress and later the
professional and social well-being of individual students but the betterment of the Greek
society as whole (Karamarinos, Kyridis, Fotopoulos & Chalkiotis, 2019). In Greece,
receiving some form of complementary, or as more frequently referred to “shadow”
education is very common; Greek students receive shadow education in order to improve
their school performance and in most cases to enhance their preparation in view of the
exams admitting them to state-owned higher education institutions (Giavrimis,
Eleftherakis & Koustourakis, 2018; Kang, 2007; Lee, Kim & Yoo, 2007) and constitutes a
social need (Kelpanidis & Polymili, 2012). It is not uncommon though nowadays that
Greek students often start receiving some form of complementary education since their
primary school years, although the attendance to shadow education courses is peaked
during secondary education (Kanellopoulos & Psacharopoulos, 1997).
The financial crisis that erupted in Greece in 2009 (Knight, 2013), is closely linked
to the 2008 global financial crisis and has had a profound impact on Greek economy and
repercussions on the Greek society undocumented previously for an advanced economy.
GDP has declined by 45% between 2008 and 2015, and unemployment rate peaked at
27,9% in 2013, with education of young citizens reaching 60% (Eurostat, 2019). During
periods of crises, education is seen not only as a means of securing a job position during
times with high unemployment rates, but also as an opportunity for social advancement.
Shadow education is also considered as a key of success in competitive examinations of
students trying to enter higher education, while being an indicator of social prestige
(Kassotakis & Verdis, 2013).
In many cases students search for private, supplementary education providing
additional to the official education (Mori & Baker, 2010, Buchmann et. al, 2010). This is
called “Shadow Education”.
Research on shadow education in Greece focuses on the attitudes of school
teachers, students and parents towards complementary tutoring (Kelpanidis et al. 2012).
It examines the criteria for selecting and changing (Panayotopoulou, 2016), whereas, in
the aftermath of the financial crisis, several studies have focused on its impacts on the
shadow education stakeholders (Tsikalaki & Kladi- Kokinou, 2016; Liodaki & Liodakis
2016). However, more specific questions as the impact of the financial crisis on the
working conditions of private tutors and the necessary adjustments they needed to
proceed to in order to adapt to the new social and financial regime have not been
addressed in the Greek literature. In addition, international studies, despite having
studies shadow education, have not systematically studied tutors’ attitudes, especially in
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 312
times of financial crises. Therefore, the originality of this paper lies in the investigation of
tutors’ behaviors in a society severely impacted by an economic breakdown and in
studying their financial and social adjustments in relation to both students and private
employers. Particular emphasis is given to examining the degree at which actions are
taken by tutors in order not to exclude students whose families have been severally
impacted by the crises from receiving shadow education, or more generally their social
responsiveness.
2. Shadow education in Greece
It is a common false conception in Greek society to believe that shadow tutoring is a habit
of Greece’s educational system only. However, the phenomenon is global (Baker, Akiba,
LeTendre, & Wisema, 2001) with China, Japan and Turkey having the lead (Baker et al.,
2001). In Europe, northern European countries have less demand than southern Europe
among which Greece holds the lead (Bray M., 2011).
The term Shadow Education encompasses all forms of private additional
education provided alongside formal education (Bray, 2011). The Greek terminology for
shadow education is Frontestirio and comes from the verb frontizo (= to care). In ancient
Greek it meant to contemplate, care for, curate. It is detected by Theogni in the 6th century
BC. The word frontestirio in ancient Greece stated the place of study and reflection and
has been firstly used by Aristophanes (Babiniotis, 2006; Kechagias, Pappaioannou, &
Antoniou, 2018). At the same time in Greek literature the term para-pedia (Kechagias, 2006;
Kechagias, 2009; Bray, 2011; Kassotakis & Verdis, 2013) is also found, which has a
derogatory connotation. The first synthetic word (para- ) can mean both parallel
education and illegal education activity, against formal education (Giavrimis et al., 2018).
Shadow education has existed in Greek society since soon after the creation of the modern
Greek state. The way for private education opened in 1844, while the disaster of Asia
Minor in 1922, with the arrival of refugees, intensifies social inequalities and increases
the demand for higher education (Kassotakis et al., 2013). In 1940, a law establishing
formally the shadow education system was passed, which with several amendments, is
still in force today (Polyxhronaki 2009). Since then, the shadow education system has
been influenced by the numerous educational reforms of the Greek public education
system. It is natural that changes in school education, simultaneously affects shadow
education, and even considered as often by making it imperative (Zambeta et al., 2014).
More specifically, tutoring was considered necessary as long as entries in Greek
Universities were limited. It is also considered to be associated with the increase in the
intensity of educational inequalities (Hsieh & Urquiola, 2003; Nambissam, 2012) and
competition (Kyridis, 2003). Shadow education functioned - and continues to do so in
many cases nowadsays - as means of social mobility (Zambeta et al., 2014). Students used
to engage in receiving shadow education mainly during secondary education, and in
particular in the last two years of high school, as a mean of obtaining an entry place at
their desired university course (Antoninis & Tsakloglou, 2001).
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 313
At present, shadow education has also become a mainstream choice for parents of
students attending primary education. After School Study Centers (ASSC)
ii
operate in
existing tutoring structures (Karamarinos, et. al. 2019). Their working hours extend from
13:30 until 21:00 and often include creative activities and Saturdays courses. However, it
is a fact that they operate without a specific institutional framework that oversees their
operation (Laskas, 2014; Dialect, 2017) and there are multiple gaps in the curriculum,
labor relations, hygiene and safety of students, workers' rights etc. (Karamarinos, 2019).
The recurring changes in the education system in recent years, have created
confusion over the entry criteria in higher education and the key study points that
students need to excel at in order to secure an entry place in higher education institutions.
This confusion among the Greek society increased the demand for shadow education.
For instance, since 1999, the courses on which students are taking to a national level in
order to be admitted to higher education have changed five times. The changes relate to
the number of courses, the scientific fields for which students can be examined and the
course content. The financial crisis in Greece has also led to the creation of Social Tutorials
(Koinoniko Frontestirio in Greek) that operate under the auspices of municipalities or
churches and provide free support to students whose families cannot afford tuition fees
(Zambeta et al. 2014). They belong to the category of solidarity education and accept
pupils that meet certain socioeconomic criteria; attendance is compulsory, and non-
attendance of students can lead to their expulsion. In these institutions the tutors teach
free of charge at their own will.
3. The Greek financial crisis and Shadow Education
The economic crisis in Greece with the consequently social crisis (Mylonakou - Keke,
2013) has brought about changes in the entire Greek society, particularly affecting
education. Permanent teacher appointments have ceased (Slave, 2014), their teaching
hours increased and so did the number of students per classroom (Botou, Mylonakou-
Keke, Kalouri, & Tsergas, 2017). Public spending on education decreased by 36%
(European Commission, 2016), leading to degradation of the quality of public education.
This fact, combined with the general confusion about admission to higher education, has
led to a rapid increase of shadow education, which is now often considered mandatory
for the successful schooling of Greek students.
The cost of tutoring fees for shadow education that is borne by the students'
families (Bray 1999; Schnie-dewind & Sapon-Shevin, 2012; Zambeta et al., 2014), although
ii
After School Study Centers (ASSC) were created during the last 5 years by the need for parents to ensure
that their children study daily, and because they were unable to control all of their children’s work. So, like
any other type of full-day, elementary and high school students are transferred from the school
environment to a tutorial together with classmates from different classes and a tutor who helps them
complete the following day's exercises. Students in this way at the end of the afternoon have studied, solved
any questions with their tutor, and returned home to rest. Parents are confident that the child will be
prepared for the next day at school, while costs remain lower than private tutoring at home.
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 314
reducing, is still particularly high (OECD, 2018) and constitute 3.3% of the family budget
(Zambeta et al., 2014). Students’ parents are often unable to cope with the cost of lessons
and as a result they either do not choose additional shadow education courses for their
children or they stay behind in their payments of tutorial fees accumulating debt (Liodaki
et al., 2016). This confirms the sharpening of educational inequalities stemming from the
general tendency to privatize education (Hsieh & Urquiola, 2003; Nambissam, 2012).
At the same time, tutors in the period of financial crisis are complaining about
their professional and social rights not being respected. Their hourly wage has been
reduced by 48% and they work for fewer hours than in the past. In addition, in many
occasions they work without social insurance and without receiving their legal
allowances (OIEEL, 2019). It is therefore observed that although there is an increase in
the demand for shadow education in Greece at the time of the economic crisis, the
working conditions of the tutors have worsened.
Greek research on shadow education focuses on students' habits and attitudes
towards it. They also examine teachers of formal education attitudes on shadow
education, first-year students’ and secondary school graduates’ attitudes on tutoring and
its relationship with the family (ESIMPEA, 2008; Veikou, Varesi & Patouna, 2008;
Kelpanidis et al., 2012; Opinion and Market Research Unit, 2012; Panagiotopoulou, 2016;
Giavrimis et al., 2018 Sakellariou, 2019). In recent years, research has focused on the
impact of the financial crisis on the students’ additional educational support options
(Tsikalakis et al., 2016) and the extent to which the financial crisis has affected shadow
education in total (Liodaki et al., 2016) or more generally the tendency of education
privatization in Greece (Karamarinos, et al., 2019). It is found (Chazidaki, 2020) that
academic research, although it has focused on the impact of the financial crisis on the
institution of shadow education, has not examined the tutors’ working conditions per se
created by the financial crisis and the adaptation needed.
Bearing in mind all these, it was considered necessary to design and conduct
research on the working conditions prevailing in shadow education institutions and the
adaptation adjustments made by tutors in the era of the Greek financial crisis. The current
paper presents the methodology and findings of this research.
In particular it examines the following as far as shadow education tutors are
concerned:
Have they have been affected financially?
Do they tolerate to work in adverse conditions without their professional rights
being respected?
Are they being socially sensitive towards vulnerable social groups?
4. Method
The present study was conducted in Greece in the Fall of 2019. It involved submissions
form questionnaires from tutors who reside in both urban and semi-urban areas of Greece
and work in all forms of shadow education.
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 315
4.1 The research tool
An original questionnaire was created in electronic form for data collection. It is divided
into four sections:
1. Demographic information,
2. A. Scale: Financial adjustments,
2. B. Scale: Adjustments with regard to employers,
2. C. Scale: Social adjustments.
The statements used on the scales resulted from a small pre-research process that
was based on discussions with tutors. The statements were then judged by other
employees and after the relevant reliability test the three scales were formed.
4.2 Sample
The sample of the quantitative research consisted of 120 participants 39 of which (32.5%)
were male and 81 (67.5%) female. 11 participants (9.2%) were under 25 years old, 38
(31.7%) were 25-30 years old, 45 (37.5%) were 31-40 years old, 18 (15%) were 41- 50 years
and 8 (6.7%) were over 50 years.
Regarding the professional capacity of the participants, 22 (18.3%) belonged to the
category P04 of the Greek educators (in which Physicists, Chemists, Biologists and IT
teachers are included), 19 (15.8%) were Mathematicians, 17 (12.5%) were Economists and
64 (53.3%) were Philologists. 55 (45.8%) of the participants, held a university degree, 60
(50%) held a master's degree, and 4 (4.2%) a PhD. In addition, 34 (28.3%) had less than 5
years of service, 43 (35.8%) had 5-10 years of service, 19 (15.8%) 11-15 years and 24 (20%).
over 16 years.
Regarding their marital status, 75 (62.5%) were unmarried, 39 (32.5%) married
with child and 6 (5%) are married without children. As far as their area of residence was
concerned 64 (53.5%) resided in the capital, whereas 56 (46.5%) resided in other regions.
Finally, regarding the origin of the main income in their household, 34 (28.3%) stated that
they exclusively provide the main income, 19 (15, 8%) stated that they do not provide the
main income to their household while 67 (55) , 8%) stated that both they and someone
else provide the basic income (Table 1).
Table 1: Sample demographic characteristics
Ν
%
Gender
81
67.5
39
32.5
Age (years)
38
31.7
45
37.5
18
15.0
8
6.7
38
31.7
Professional capacity
22
18.3
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 316
19
15.8
17
12.5
64
53.3
Education level
55
45.8
60
50.0
5
4.2
Marital status
75
62.5
39
32.5
6
5.0
Years of service
34
28.3
43
35.8
19
15.8
24
20.0
Area of residence
64
53.5
56
46.5
Origin of the main income in my household
34
28.3
19
15.8
67
55.8
4.3 Reliability and internal validity of the tool
Reliability testing of the factor structures for the three thematic areas was performed by
calculating the Cronbach’s Alpha index. Reliability refers to the extent a set of variables
is consistent with the object to be measured (Hair , Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1995). In
order to validate the reliability, it was checked whether the Cronbach A values for the
three thematic sections are greater than 0.6 which is considered satisfactory (Spector,
1992; Nunally, 1978). In more detail, as shown in Table 2, the Cronbach’s Alpha index for
financial adjustments was 0.642, for the thematic section of employer-related adjustments
it was 0.651, and the social adjustments thematic section was 0.654. The reliability check
of all questionnaire statements was 0.651. The tool was therefore considered reliable.
Table 2: Data Reliability Factor
Thematic Area
Cronbach’s A Index
Financial adjustments
0.642
Employer-related adjustments
0.651
Social adjustments
0.654
Total statements
0.651
5. Results
The analysis of the results showed that all three areas under investigation received
positive statements. More specifically, as shown in Table 3, the majority of teachers
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 317
admitted that the financial crisis has affected their financial earnings (M = 2.627, Sd =
1.2040). They tend to vary their rates according to the area where they are teaching (M =
2.831, Sd = 1.2355), while also stating that they cannot live exclusively by their own
profession as tutors, so they need to work in another field (M = 3.336, Sd = 1.4973).
Table 3: A. Financial adjustments: Mean & Standard deviation
Statement
Mean
Sd
I reduce my course rates because I have fewer students than last year
3,706
1.0444
I need to work in another area in order to cope financially.
3.336
1.4973
I vary my course rates depending on the area of institution or student.
2.831
1.2355
I travel long distances to meet the needs in hours or money.
3.294
1.1376
The financial crisis is responsible for the lower earnings in the teacher industry.
2.176
1.1096
I have been looking for students in more remote areas because
I think I will be paid more.
3.857
1.1881
I take lessons in my own space so that I don't move around and get lower prices.
3.462
1.5227
My average earnings have reduced compared to the pre-crisis ones.
2.627
1.2040
1 = Always, 2 = Frequently, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Rarely, 5 = Never
Regarding employer adjustments, as presented in Table 4, most agree that they don’t
receive the legal allowances (e.g. extra wage during the Christmas, Easter and Summer
period, annual leave allowance) from their employers (M = 2.941, Sd = 1.5038). In
addition, participants reported working part-time (M = 3.035, Sd = 1.3438), and that were
not compensated if they were fired (M = 3.452, Sd = 1.4823). On the contrary, they mostly
stated that they were paid extra for their support courses or if they worked more than
their scheduled hours (M = 2.898, Sd = 1.5381) and the vast majority stated that they did
not accept to work for less money than those legally entitled (M = 3.439, Sd = 1.3372).
Table 4: B. Adjustments with regard to employer: Mean & Standard deviation
Statement
Mean
Sd
I accept to work with less stamps.
3.134
1.4017
I agree to work with fewer or no legal allowances.
2.941
1.5038
I accept to work while my employer declares me to be a different specialty.
3.838
1.3706
I am paid extra for overtime or supportive teaching.
2.898
1.5381
I help my employer by doing jobs that are not relevant to my subject
without extra pay.
3.974
1.2612
I agree to work part time.
3.035
1.3438
I agree to work with less money than legal.
3.439
1.3372
I receive compensation in case of dismissal.
3.452
1.4823
I agree to teach students of different grades at the same time
in the same classroom so that I do not have to work longer hours.
3.957
1.4878
1 = Always, 2 = Frequently, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Rarely, 5 = Never
Regarding the social sector, most stated that they are being informed about the social
problems of Greece (M = 1.636, Sd = 1.0595). Still, while claiming that they are not
generally adaptable to the prices they will ask for (M = 4.076, Sd = 1.2065), the majority
stated that they reduce their rates if the student's family cannot afford the cost of tuition
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 318
(M = 2.542 , Sd = 1.1595). They also stated that they reduce their prices if they provide
lessons to more than one child of the same family (M = 2.308, Sd = 1.1631). In addition, a
relatively important part claimed that they teach free of charge if their students cannot
cover the cost of the tuition (M = 2.059, Sd = 1.2907), while they claimed that they teach
free or at a low price for their family environment (M = 2.559, Sd = 1.3110). Additionally,
most stated that they did not teach in social care entities (M = 3.847, Sd = 1.2785). The
majority also reported that they did not give classes aimed at refugee students (M = 3.966,
Sd = 1.3117) and did not teach students from remote areas who do not have easy access
to shadow education (M = 4.026, Sd = 1.3985) (Table 5).
Table 5: C. Social adjustments: Mean & Standard deviation
Statement
Mean
Sd
I am informed about social problems.
1.636
1.0595
I teach free students whose family cannot afford.
2.059
1.2907
I reduce my price if I teach more than one child of the same family.
2.308
1.1631
I teach in Social tutoring or volunteering.
3.847
1.2785
I teach children in my family environment for free or with less money.
2.559
1.3110
I am flexible in negotiating the price regardless of the financial situation of my
students' families.
4.076
1.2065
I am reducing my prices due to the financial situation of my students' families.
2.542
1.1595
I am teaching to refugee children.
3.966
1.3117
I teach online classes to students in remote areas who do not have access to teachers.
4.026
1.3985
1 = Always, 2 = Frequently, 3 = Sometimes, 4 = Rarely, 5 = Never
To correlate the results with the demographic characteristics of the sample, we performed
an ANOVA analysis of variance which indicated that younger tutors, 54.6% of the age
group under 25 years old and 36.9% of the group 25-30 years old mostly need to work in
other sectors to meet their financial needs. The same is true for only 32.7% of the group
over 50 years old. In the same statement, 40% of unmarried participants, as well as 44.1%
of participants with less than 5 years' experience, are positive. In addition, 54,6% of PE4
tutors stated that they need to travel long distances to meet their needs in terms of
working hours and income, while 41.7%. of Economists was positive in the same
statement. Also, 41.7% of Mathematicians stated that they opt to take courses in their own
premises so that they spend less time and money on the move and can provide lower
rates for their courses. The level of the participants’ education also seemed to play an
important role in some of the answers given. More specifically, 59.1% of participants who
hold a university degree stated that they are paid more if they work overtime or take
reinforcement courses, while 37.2% of them said they receive compensation if they are
fired. In contrast, 44.1% of participants with less than 5 years' experience agree to work
without their social insurance contribution being fully covered by their employers, while
35.3% of the same category agree to work while their employer declares them on a
different specialty (e.g. administrative positions). Participants who do not provide the
main income to their household were positive in the same statement (33.3%).
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 319
6. Discussion
Shadow education is not a phenomenon that has emerged in recent years (Giavrimis et
al., 2018). On the contrary, it has a long tradition in the Greek education system
(Polychronaki, 2003). In modern Greek reality, shadow education is influenced not only
by government decisions on the formal education, with which it is directly associated,
but also by the economic crisis (Liodaki et al., 2016) that Greece has experienced over the
last decade (Knight, 2013). Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to investigate
the working conditions of teachers working in shadow education during the economic
crisis. Research has shown that tutors, in the context of the financial crisis, have become
adaptable socially and economically to their changing working conditions. As the
financial crisis erupted, tutors’ earnings decreased (O.E.C.D., 2017), and they became
adaptive in their financial requirements. Younger and inexperienced tutors as well as
unmarried teachers cannot make end meet based solely on their work in tutoring. Due to
their limited experience (Liodaki et al., 2016) they need to seek additional income for
employees in other sectors as they cannot claim better financial deals (OIELLE, 2019). In
addition, tutors in the PE04 category, to a greater extent than in other specialties, need to
travel longer distances to meet their needs, mainly because of the limited demand for
teaching hours courses in their fields (Polyzos, 2019). Thus, they need to seek
employment farther than tutor of other specialties, resulting in higher costs in terms of
time and money (increased fuel expenses).
The period of the financial crisis has significantly affected shadow education in
Greece not only in terms of the number of students, the turnover of courses (Liodaki et
al., 2016) and the salaries of tutors, but also in the non-compliance of the legal rights of
the latter (OIELE, 2019). The research showed that younger teachers (under 25 years old)
mostly agree to work in the same classroom with students of different ages and school
years in order to get compensated for fewer working hours. After School Study Centers
(ASSC) that have been emerged in Greece in recent years (Karamarinos et al., 2019) opt
mostly for younger teachers with little experience (OIEEL, 2019a). In the last decade,
Greek tutors have been trying, through trade unions, to claim better working conditions
by claiming that employers very often do not proceed to the necessary employee
registration with the relevant social security institution, do not cover social fees, or pay
they often cover them, and they then require a refund from their employees (Association
of Salaried Teachers of Thessaloniki, 2019). The majority of the participants therefore
stated that they do not receive the legal allowances from the employer nor the
compensation they are entitled to if they are fired. This confirms the violating tutors’
professional rights.
The tutors argued that they were interested in the social problems of Greece. The
participants mostly stated that although they are not flexible in negotiating the price
regardless of the financial situation of their students' families, they reduce their tutoring
fees if their tutors cannot cover the tuition. Most importantly, a large part said that they
teach free of charge students who cannot afford the cost of tuition. By the above, it is
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 320
evidenced that Greek tutors working in shadow education, , not only do not abandon
their educational work during the economic crisis, as is often the case in other Western
countries (Day & Gu, 2010), but they try to provide students from income families with
fair educational opportunities (Mylonakou - Keke, 2013). They choose to sacrifice a
percentage of their salary, teaching in some cases for free during a harsh period for the
Greek society, depicting their interest in the social well-being of students and providing
fair educational opportunities for them. Education has been shown to be a means of social
mobility (Zeng, 1999 ; Mylonakou - Keke, 2015) that provides trainees with social and
economic well-being (Hess, 2004). Shadow education is a key success factor in the
educational process (Giavrimis et al., 2018; Glass, 1954) as students' participation in it
significantly contributes to their success in entrance exams in higher education
institutions (Baker et al., 2001; Bray, 2003). Although the social role of formal education
teachers has been systematically investigated (Fredriksen & Rhodes, 2004), the present
research also highlighted the social role of tutors. The free courses, which they say deliver
in conjunction with the flexibility in their financial requirements from families of
economically disadvantaged students, are designed to help students achieve their
educational goals and claim a position in higher education. They strive for their students
to achieve sustainable development through education with the ultimate goal of personal
and social well-being (Mylonakou-Keke, 2013).
In conclusion, although tutors are particularly affected by the financial crisis, they
exhibit extremely high levels of sensitivity to vulnerable social groups in Greece, acting
altruistically to contribute to the social well-being of their students. Therefore, the
financial crisis, with the ensuing social crisis, imposed changes not only on the financial
conditions of tutors but also on their way of thinking and the way they handle their
educational work.
Conflict of Interest Statement
The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.
Acknowledgement
All co-authors have seen and agree with the contents of the manuscript and there is no
financial interest to report. We certify that the submission is original work and is not
under review at any other publication.
About the Authors
Natasha Chatzidaki holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philology with a specialization in
Classical Philology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a MSc
Social Neurosciences, Social Pedagogy and Education at the Department of Primary
Education of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She currently works
as a teacher of secondary education in private schools.
Dr. Argyris Kyridis is a Professor of Sociology at the School of Early Childhood
Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His research interests focus on Sociology,
Chatzidaki Natasha, Kyridis Argyris, Kechagias Christos Thomas
A VIEW ON THE GREEK SHADOW EDUCATION AT THE ERA OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS.
HOW DO PRIVATE TUTORS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ARE FORMED?
European Journal of Education Studies - Volume 8 Issue 3 2021 321
Sociology of Education, Sociological Theory, Quantitative Social Research, and
Qualitative Social Research.
Dr. Christos Kechagias works as a teaching stuff laboratory in the School of Education
at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece). He holds a Ph.D. in
Philosophy and Social Sciences and he has studied (M.A.) Sociobiology, Neuroscience &
Education and Post-Doc in Creative Thinking. His publications consist of books and
articles on Philosophy, Theory and Epistemology of Education.
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