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Resisting Greek Teachers Face First Evaluation Scheme Since 1982

ATHENS – Some 39 years after a team of inspectors last evaluated teachers in Greek public schools, the scheme is due to begin again this year under the New Democracy government although fiercely resisted.

The Ministry of Education is preparing an agenda that will also include an ambitious reform agenda that will begin to be implemented in 2021 and will includ universal kindergarten education for 4-year-olds – including English – some autonomy for schools to set curriculum and monitoring progress of university students.

Evaluations were ended by the then-ruling PASOK Socialists, a practice carried on for decades even under former New Democracy governments unwilling to tangle with the large voting bloc of teachers who don’t want their classrooms monitored.

Teachers unions are vehemently opposed to letting anyone, even experienced teachers, evaluate their peers but the Education Ministry, said Kathimerini, said there won’t be punishment for those who fail to meet standards but that they would have to undergo further training.

Letting individual schools set a small part of the curriculum breaks with the tradition of having it solely determined by the Education Ministry with universal textbooks and rote memorization favored overcritical thinking.

The ministry also wants to expand the role of interactive learning and introduce new lessons, the report said, while at the university level the ministry wants to expand collaborations with foreign institutions, introduce joint degrees and facilitate commercial applications of university research across the sector.

There was no report that the government, as had indicated, would move to repeal Article 16 of the Constitution barring degrees from foreign schools, even in Greece, to be recognized, limiting job opportunities in the public sector.

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