Amid growing concern about lawlessness on university campuses, academics have called for interventions that will allow educational institutions to resume their smooth functioning while the new head of Greece’s Institute of Educational Policy has underlined the need for reforms and regular evaluations at every level of the system if state education is to be upgraded.
In a joint statement issued at the end of last week, 100 academics at the Athens University of Economics and Business (ASOEE), which was the scene of a tense standoff between police and far-left demonstrators last Monday, called for “institutional changes and structured actions aimed at the smooth functioning and upgrading of the Greek state university.”
“In our daily lives we experience a climate of violence and lawlessness which is not only present at our university but at many other Greek universities,” the statement said.
“We firmly believe that universities should be open centers for learning and research based on the free exchange of ideas and the principle of democracy,” it added, expressing the academics’ opposition to “every illegal activity that takes place on university grounds.”
Meanwhile, in his first interview since becoming president of the IEP, which advises the Education Ministry, Yiannis Antoniou underlined the importance of evaluation, which has been neglected by successive governments, in boosting the quality of state education. “The evaluation that we plan to implement does not punish, it corrects,” he told Kathimerini.
He added that the aim of the ministry’s reforms is to ensure that all students have access to a high level of state education, irrespective of their financial means. “I believe in schools of knowledge, innovation and excellence with a significant degree of autonomy from central government, with teachers free to develop their creative potential,” he said.