“Free for All” Attitude for University Entry Requirements Is Mere Populism, Says Kerameus

ATHENS — It is mere populism to pursue a 'free for all' attitude regarding university entry requirements, "and disregarding if the person who goes to university will manage to graduate, or if the degree will meet labor market demands", said Education Minister Niki Kerameus on Monday, speaking on Athens-Macedonian News Agency's 'Praktoreio 104.9 FM' radio station.

She was referring to the minimum grades required for being accepted in Greek universities, as these and other provisions have been tabled in the ministry's bill, which is currently debated in parliament and due for a plenary vote on Thursday.

"When someone is accepted into a faculty with a grade of 0.6 in 20, or 1 in 20, or even 2 in 20, then, well, this candidate has been fooled by all of us, because the chances of him/her studuying and graduating successfuly are rather slim," she pointed out.

Additionally, "we are also fooling his/her fellow student, who has worked hard to pass into university with higher grades, and we are also fooling the Greek taxpayer, who is paying for people taking up a spot without meeting academic requirements."

Besides setting stricter grade minimums for university candidates out of high school, the education ministry's bill also includes higher standards of university campus security and the creation of a special in-situ police force.

The minister pointed out that "it is common sense that violence and lawlessness cannot be allowed to take place in universities (…), or to have drugs trafficking and Molotov petrol bombs being made inside universities." Therefore, she underlined that the bill's provision for a dedicated university security force aims "to upgrade the academic environment".

Talking about the pandemic and schools, Kerameus provided some key statistics: only a 0.3 pct of classes are currently shut down nationwide, while the current percentage of teachers who have tested positive to the coronavirus is 0.23 pct. Tests are being carried out at schools across the country, she noted.

Kerameus also invited teachers and students over the age of 16 to sign up on edu.testing.gov.gr for a free coronavirus test, carried out at 386 points nationally.


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