19 JANUARY 2015 / School Support Program Overview

Recognizing the significant role of technology, both in providing effective educational services, as well as in the implementation of new learning methods, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) has implemented, from 2007 to date, a School Support Program, through which it has awarded grants totaling €2,848,300 to 309 public schools throughout Greece.

The main objective of the Program is to contribute in the creation of the right technological conditions, in order for students to acquire the skills necessary for their academic development, but also help usher in the wider introduction of multimedia as a modern teaching tool in public schools. 

Technological equipment and educational materials were offered through the School Support Program to schools throughout Greece, where there were significant shortcomings in basic technological infrastructure. The program was designed based on the ever-increasing importance of digital technology in education, focusing on schools with shortages in relevant equipment, but also on students who were not sufficiently familiar with technology. 

The schools that were included in the School Support Program were equipped with computers, peripheral equipment and books, depending on their respective needs. From 2007 to 2013, the program was divided into four implementation phases. Specifically, in 2007, during the first phase of the School Support Program, 28 Elementary Schools were selected in the prefectures of Pella and Kilkis. Similarly, for the years 2008-2009, the Program addressed 62 multi-grade Elementary Schools in the prefectures of Arcadia, Ilia, Corinthia, Laconia and Messinia, and especially schools in fire-stricken areas which had suffered considerable damages, in order to ensure the smoothest possible continuation of their educational activities. Furthermore, educational seminars were also organized in the same year, for teachers in the School Program. The seminars focused on the presentation of methods for the optimum management of the equipment. During the third and fourth phases in 2012 and 2013, 117 and 102 additional schools from all across the country were added to the Program respectively. More information about the Program, and the full list of participating schools is available here.

The completion of the fourth implementation phase simultaneously signals the completion of the School Support Program in its original form. According to the latest developments in the use of technology in learning, which put the use of tablets at the forefront of educational innovation, the Foundation is exploring the planning and implementation of a new School Support Program, which will focus on the use of tablets in schools. 

Since there is a series of questions and issues related to the use of this technology in schools, and in accordance with best practices at an international level, the Foundation initially directs its attention to the implementation of this initiative on a pilot basis, and in collaboration with a select number of schools which will be selected by the SNF, after a thorough internal evaluation and research procedure. Subsequently, following the evaluation of the program’s pilot phase, the Foundation may support its implementation on a broader scale.