Education in Greece

1. What are anti-labour components of the new education policy of the Syriza government which you are opposing?

Education in general has been deeply affected by the crisis. Education must answer to the modern needs and potentials, must form people with true knowledge of the laws of nature and society, with confidence and ability to take control of their lives. Today, we see that not even basic needs of schools are covered.

After more than 10 without any permanent hirings in education, the Greek Goverment has announced that will hire 15.000 school teachers the next three years starting this year. This number is far behind the real needs in education. These years, more than 30.000 teachers have worked in education as “replacement teachers”. We are talking about teachers that are being hired with “expiration date”, in the middle of the school year, they get fired every june, they are forced to move around the country to cover the needs of education leaving their homes and families behind. There are thousands of teachers that have worked that way for years. The bill the goverment has recently brought to the parliament sets a number of criteria that fires many of these people. Greek teachers are on a struggle against these firings, demanding the permanent hiring of – at least – 30.000 teachers who are already working in education as replacement teachers.

2. What are the implications of the governments policies in the field of Education?

The goverment policies in education consist of budget cuts and new measures in the entire field of education. The schools lack teachers, school classes and entire schools have been closed (and they would be more if the teachers and students didn’t protest against these closings), student care is far behind the true huge needs.

3. What were the promises made by the Syriza during the elections regarding the education sector and do they have accomplished any of them?

Before the elections, SYRIZA was telling the greek people that it would abolish the memorandum for the Greek economy that was signed by the previous Goverments. Instead, it has proven that is implementing and extending the same strategy as the other political parties that ruled Greece in all sectors. We are talking about the EU, OECD strategy, the guidelines given in order to adjust education to the needs of big business groups. That is why education finances continued to be low, there were no permanent hirings of teachers all these years, student care is under-financed, even school buildings are facing problems in many parts of the country. That is why the greek parliament has voted a series of bills that regard education, merging universities, making education cheaper for the state. At the same time the Goverment is giving away money to the enterprises, is spending million for military expenses for NATO.

4. What are the alternatives that you can propose for reforms in Education sector as from the teachers front of PAME and from KKE?

Our proposal is based on the fact that today, mankind has accomplished great steps in science and technology. All people could and should take advantage in a modern, fully equipped school, that provides all the means for a real education for all children. The education that people really need demands greater changes in society, economy, in order to put peoples needs ahead of the profits of the capitalists.

Chrisoula Lampoudi
teacher  member of PAME and vise presitent of FISE