‘National dialogue’ on education in the fall

Educators will be called on to submit proposals for changes to the education system as part of a «national dialogue» that will begin in December, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou said in an interview with Kathimerini. Giannakou is trying to achieve a broad consensus on the modernization of the education system. «We can’t bury our heads in the sand. Education needs reform,» she declared. Already, the Education Ministry is working hard to set up a proper framework for the debate. «There is no more important challenge than to be able to deal with the state of affairs today,» said Giannakou in the interview, indicating the major changes that would be attempted in the educational sector, at all levels. Primary schools will see curricula improvements, and the number of all-day schools will be increased. Secondary schools will see compulsory education extended to 12 years from the current nine (up to senior high), new books, new courses and an expansion in teacher training. In vocational training, technical high schools will be upgraded to vocational senior high schools, in order to strengthen their educational role and boost their students’ chances of entering a difficult labor market. In tertiary education, courses will be upgraded and infrastructure improved. Greater self-sufficiency is expected to lead to improvements in teaching and research, while linkage with the labor market, on strict terms, will enhance competitiveness within the framework of the single European education area by 2010. All this will be achieved within certain time limits, so that «we don’t have what we call ‘measures’ in Greece,» but improvements in educational content «on the basis of developments,» the minister said.

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