Liberal arts teachers seek to protect jobs

Liberal arts educators at Greece’s secondary schools on Tuesday protested moves to undermine their status as first-choice history teachers, warning that they will take legal steps to safeguard their jobs.

Amid speculation of layoffs in secondary education, and in a bid to make sure that existing staff are not made redundant, school principals have been assigning teachers from other fields to conduct history classes instead of waiting for the ministry to appoint liberal arts teachers for the job.

According to the Education Ministry rulebook, if a school does not have the necessary number of liberal arts teachers, history lessons can alternatively be taught by those specializing in sociology and law, foreign languages or even religious education.

“It’s blatant injustice against liberal arts professors,” said Anastasios Stefos, head of the Panhellenic Association of Philologists (PEF).

Speaking to Kathimerini, Dr Olga Katsiardi-Hering of Athens University’s Department of History and Archaeology also warned against the appointments of nonspecialized staff.

“History is not a fairy tale that can be ‘narrated’ by some random individual; it requires depth, method and interpretation,” she said.