Deputy Culture, Education and Religion Minister Tasos Kourakis made it clear that the new Greek government would honor its pledges regarding changes to the Greek education system in an interview on the leftist radio station Sto Kokkino (In Red). He stressed that the Education Ministry’s doors are open to everyone. “Just because we’ve been voted in doesn’t mean we can do everything correctly,” he said. “We need collective action.”
Changes to be made:
* The controversial “Bank of Subjects” that was recently introduced and that requires teachers from around the country to contribute questions that different schools draw in lots – some easy, some not, some without solutions – at the end of the year for nationwide exams is being abolished.
* The nationwide exams for 1st and 2nd senior high school are being abolished as is the percentage point system that counts these exams towards university entry. The first two measures are aimed at stopping students from seeking extra private tuition. (Students turning to private institutes ontop of their learning at school has rocketed since these measures were introduced.)
* Science and math frameworks will be widened in the final year of high school (3rd year of lyceum) so that students have more study options near the area where they live.
* The law for the expulsion of so-called “eternal” students from tertiary education being scrapped meaning that students no longer have limits placed on them for the completion of their diplomas and degrees.
* Study transfers are being eased to make it easier on students to participate in courses nearer to their homes.
* Administrative officials of tertiary institutions that had been removed from their positions due to the measure of availability are being returned to their positions.
* Junior high school (middle school) teachers and those of professional lyceums (senior high schools) who had been sacked and their areas of expertise abolished (eg. foreign languages, music etc) will be returned to their posts in the coming year.
* School guards that had been sacked will be returned to their positions.
* A curricular reform and new school books are being planned.
* More credible “digital libraries” for uni students.
The ministry is being officially handed to the new government at 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday.