NEWS

Students at odds over reforms

Students who have organized themselves to prevent contemporaries who are protesting recent university reforms from closing down the institutions claimed on Monday that they are being intimidated, as the action threatens to derail the first semester since the changes were passed.

A group calling itself ?Indignant Students: No to Sit-ins? was formed last week to oppose the protests that shut almost 300 university departments after Parliament overwhelmingly passed reforms that require the institutions to undergo regular assessments and which brought Greek tertiary education more in line with European Union standards.

The group was due to hold a news conference on Monday but called the event off after members allegedly received threatening e-mails. The students said they would continue their campaign and would be asking university lecturers and professors to publicly support them.

The students said they have also written to Prime Minister George Papandreou and Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou.

According to the Education Ministry, 238 university and technical college (TEI) departments were under occupation on Monday by students opposing the recent reforms. Students opposing the changes are due to hold a rally in central Athens on Thursday.

Their action is threatening to derail the fall semester as the new law states that there must be a minimum of 13 weeks of teaching so the academic term can be considered complete. This means that dozens of students who had exams to sit to complete their degrees could now have to wait until the next semester to do so.

Meanwhile, efforts to get school textbooks to primary and secondary schools are continuing. Thanks to some high school graduates returning their old books, schools in Thessaloniki said that they have half the books they need.

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