ATHENS – The ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, which doesn’t want excellence in schools, has filed a bill aimed at putting education under the party’s control and scrapping evaluation of teachers.
The bill drafted by Education Minister Costas Gavroglou essentially eliminates any notion of meritocracy or goals for teachers or students at the same time the party has mulled ending entrance exams for universities or pushing students to excel.
The measure, said Kathimerini, expands SYRIZA’s rule over what’s taught in the schools and to increase Leftist influence in education and put the administrative structure under the rule of party loyalists.
That includes selecting principals for schools not on the basis of achievement, which SYRIZA doesn’t want, but who is faithful to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Leftists idea of what constitutes education, which has included not wanting exams or standards showing progress.
With the Greek education system preferring parroting and memorization to critical thinking, and SYRIZA saying excellence in schools isn’t a virtue, Greek households who turn to private education for their children are spending more than 3 billion euros ($3.54 billion) a year to supplement learning.
That was the finding of a research unit affiliated with the country’s largest trade union umbrella group, GSEE based on figures for 2015, when SYRIZA took power, the business newspaper Naftemporiki said.
While public education in Greece is free, including colleges which have standards so low that students with failing grades on entrance exams can be admitted, many Greek parents prefer tutors, private teachers, foreign language schools and lessons for everything from arts to computer programming.
They also spend considerably for education away from home, such as college students enrolled in out-of-town tertiary institutions.