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Society

Squeezed by Teachers Union, New Democracy Delays Evaluations

February 10, 2020

ATHENS – After criticizing the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA for lowering educational standards, Greece’s New Democracy has also put evaluations of teachers on hold, reverting to saying it would be implemented on the basis of a long-delayed initial plan.

An Education Ministry statement said that the evaluation of primary and secondary school teachers was designed to take place after a first phase of teacher training and school unit assessments, with teachers resisting being reviewed on their performances.

“The goal has always been to build trust in the new system – and it remains so,” it said, adding that the time frame had been specified as early as November 2018, when New Democracy unveiled its agenda.

The Primary Teachers’ Federation (DOE) and the Federation of State Secondary School Teachers (OLME), which have vehemently opposed any evaluation-driven reform, said it was delighted the government had done an about-face, said Kathimerini.

Turning to the issue of teacher training programs, OLME said that training must be “comprehensive and not a result of assessment,” and that it got an assurance from Education Minister Niki Kerameus the ministry was looking for the necessary funds to make it “systematic and comprehensive,” without explaining what that meant.

The government’s decision to delay the evaluations was seen as a signal to unionists the government doesn’t want to confront the party’s New Democracy-affiliated DAKE teachers’ union, essentially caving in to the group.
Putting in place a system of performance review across the country’s primary and secondary schools was a key pledge of New Democracy before ousting the Leftists in July, 2019 snap elections.

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