School starts on Monday with blessing ceremony


School bells will be ringing across the country on Monday morning to mark the start of the new academic year, with the customary blessing ceremony.

The government appeared upbeat about the readiness of the public school system to welcome hundreds of thousands of students back to their desks, though teachers' groups have over the summer complained of serious shortages in staff and resources.

Speaking at the Thessaloniki International Fair's opening on Saturday, Education Minister Costas Gavroglou said that Monday's bell will be a “ring of triumph.”

“We are in an excellent state of readiness at kindergartens and elementary schools thanks to all of the preparation work that has been done. This is also the case at middle and high schools,” he said.

“There are a few small shortages in specialized teaching staff, which will be solved in the next few weeks,” Gavroglou conceded.