ATHENS – Scrapping a move by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA which said excellence in education wasn't a virtue that should be rewarded, Greek students who carry the national flag in parades will again be selected on the basis of academic performance.
That was directed by New Democracy's Education Minister Niki Kerameus, reversing the Leftists policy that had drawn sharp criticism as a assault on education and a disincentive for students to study and do well at the same time the party wanted to lower standards in college too.
Two pupils in sixth grade, the final year of primary school, will be selected each year, with one serving from the start of the academic year until Jan. 31 and the other from Feb.2 1 to the end of the school year, said Kathimerini of the change.
This means different pupils will carry the flag in parades to mark Independence Day on March 25 and Oxi Day on Oct. 28, which marks Greece’s response – NO - to an Italian ultimatum in 1940 and the country’s entry into World War II.
Random selection of flag-bearers was introduced by Kerameus’ leftist predecessor, Costas Gavroglou in what critics said was another example of SYRIZA trying to dumb down education and achievements.