ATHENS – Greek university professor and primary school teachers are trying to mount a campaign to keep the government from unraveling education reforms.
Education Minister Aristides Baltas of the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition, who said education is overrated and “not a virtue,” wants to undo measures that were designed to improve universities and set more stringent standards.
SYRIZA wants virtually no standards for the country’s universities, which fail to rate among the world’s best in surveys, and to let students and the staff help run them.
Kathimerini said that leading academics such as Thanos Veremis, Nikos Alivizatos and Ioakim Gryspolakis are set to lead a public effort to create a debate around the Education Ministry’s proposals, which many in the university community say are backward-looking.
They will hold public discussions in various parts of Greece, culminating in an event at an indoor stadium in Maroussi, northern Athens, on May 6.
They will attempt to engage with university students who are not members of political parties in a bid to create momentum against the reforms.
Baltas said he also wants to scrap independent councils with Diaspora academics and replace them with staff members of the various colleges, who have no education background.
The primary school teachers’ union (DOE) accused him of not consulting teachers over education reforms and said the government has reversed its support for teachers and ignores them.