In 1944, the majority of the population, especially those living in the rural areas, was illiterate. By 1973, 700,000 students were studying at various levels. These included 569,600 young people in eight-grade schools, 102,600 in middle-level schools, and 28,600 in higher schools. This meant that the number of young people receiving some form of schooling had grown by twelve times since 1938. This, however, has to be compared to the absolute increase of the Albanian population which had the highest rate of growth in all of Europe.
The country was, however, the most in need of higher educational institutions. One important step was taken in 1947 when an Institute for Science was established, and it became the foundation for the first Albanian university. The university was formally established in 1957. Its seven faculties provided instruction in traditional subjects. In its first year the university enrolled 3,600 students, taught by 200 faculty members. By 1985, enrollment was up to 18,000 students who were instructed by 800 faculty members. In 1972, the Albanian Academy of Sciences was established to study the sciences and Marxist-Leninist ideology. Twenty-five top scholars of the country were admitted to the institution. They represented a mixture of true scholars and party ideological pundits. The academy included six institutions and the Institute of Figurative Arts (painting), the State Conservatory of Music, and the Academy of Theater Arts.
Prifti Peter R., Socialist Albania Since 1944: Domestic and Foreign Developments ( Cambridge, MA, 1978); Thomas John E., Education for Communism: Schools and State in the People's Republic of Albania ( Stanford, CA, 1969).
Greek Minority in Albania. The situation of ethnic Greeks living in Albania has been a perennial issue of contention between Greece and the Albanian state ever since the existence of independent Albania. In 1914, the Florence Protocol established the borders between the two countries. At that time, about 20 percent of the Albanian population was Orthodox Christian while the rest was Muslim. Consecutive Greek governments thereafter claimed that the Orthodox Christians were really ethnic Greeks who lived in the area the Greek governments called northern Epirus, and the Albanians named southern Albania. Although Greek premier Georgikos Mitsotakis declared, in his 1990 visit to Tirana, that Greece had no territorial claims against Albania, talks nevertheless continued in Athens, especially among leaders of the conservative New Democratic party, about the issue concerning northern Epirus. The Albanians on their part claim that ethnic Greeks moved to their current residence in the Dropuli region "only" in the eighteenth century as servants of Albanian feudal lords. While Greece claims to have from about 300,000 to 400,000 of their conationals living in Albania, the Albanians put the number at 60,000.
In December 1990, the ethnic Greeks created OMNIA, a political organization aimed at defending their ethnic rights. The organization fielded candidates in the first free elections and won five seats in the Albanian parliament. Its opponents claimed,