ATHENS – New Education Minister Aristides Baltas has reduced the grade level needed for high school students to be promoted and said they don’t need to pursue excellence.
“Excellence is a warped ambition,” Baltas told Kathimerini as he ordered the cut for passing from 50 percent – a failing grade in the United States and many countries – to 47.5 percent for math and Greek at the same time graduating students can be admitted to some schools with grades of as low as 3 percent out of 100.
Baltas, a Professor of the Philosophy of Science and Physics and a founding member of the new rulers of Greece, the Radical Left SYRIZA, said that the Greek education system should not be based on “excellence” although he didn’t explain what that meant or how he was graduated without that principle.
He also said that he would eliminate university councils responsible for overseeing the running of tertiary institutions at the same time the European Union has been pushing Greece to recognize foreign universities which successive governments have refused to do.
The university councils, which include foreign academics and Greek academics from abroad, were formed as part of the tertiary education reform passed in 2011 with the aim of providing more independent oversight in the running of the institutions.
Baltas said he would also wants to abolish university entrance exams to let anyone be admitted and let them be “eternal students,” where they wouldn’t have to go to class.