With next year’s elections around the corner, the Ministry of Education has already appointed SYRIZA-affiliated officials to many key positions in departments that essentially do not exist.
More specifically, even though the planned operation of the Consulting and Support Centers (KESY) – as stipulated in recent legislation – has yet to be given the go-ahead, they have already been staffed with department bosses.
The recent legislation envisaged that these consulting centers would be set up through the merger of Specialized Diagnostic Centers, Youth Counseling Centers and Vocational Guidance Offices and Centers.
Furthermore, the new law states that the Consulting and Support Centers can only be set up after the minister of education approves the merger – something which the incumbent Costas Gavroglou has yet to do.
Instead, the ministry allowed 13 outgoing directors (the majority of whom had been chosen by SYRIZA-ANEL) to select the people to man the posts at the Consulting and Support Centers.
The move to appoint its “own people” to key posts in the state apparatus has prompted criticism of the leftist-led government and accusations that it is pursuing a cynically partisan policy at the expense of meritocratic procedures.
Moreover, senior trade union officials have told Kathimerini that SYRIZA is aiming to install these party-friendly individuals so that the party can retain control of the workings of the Education Ministry if New Democracy win the next elections.
And with elections in mind, SYRIZA has also implemented two more changes.
The first was to scrap school consultants – the only body among educators that has undergone evaluations by the state.
The government’s second move was to abolish the evaluation/appraisal of all educators.