NEWS

University rectors uphold ministry decision for in-person classes

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The Council of Rectors of Greece’s public universities has upheld an Education Ministry decision for all classes to take place in physical rather than online format this academic year.

The decision to reopen university gates was taken at an emergency meeting convened on Wednesday to address concerns expressed by educators over the shortage of classrooms, lecture theaters and staff to ensure that coronavirus safety measures are applied.

“The Council confirms that the country’s universities will be returning to the in-person educational process within a framework that will be defined by the state. The Council, in fact, has unanimously expressed the need for a return to class since last July,” it said in a statement issued after the meeting.

Noting that many universities do not have enough lecture theaters or professors to ensure physical distancing and stressing the difficulty of checking Covid vaccination certificates at lectures with as many as 250-300 students or more, educators had requested the option of returning to remote teaching for theoretical classes.

Responding to these and other such concerns, Education Minister Niki Kerameus, who also attended Wednesday’s meeting of rectors, announced the hiring of 400 new permanent academic staff and said that 2.6 million euros have been set aside to hire lecture theater monitors for the task of checking vaccination certificates and ensuring health safety rules are upheld.