Hoping to avoid even sparser spectator turnout at the Paralympics than at the opening events of the ongoing Olympics, the government is buying up thousands of tickets for the September Games which are to be distributed free of charge. Yesterday, the Education Ministry announced it had purchased 50,000 tickets for the September 17-27 Paralympics, in which some 4,000 physically disabled athletes representing a record 140 countries are to participate. Some 40,000 of the tickets will go to primary and secondary school pupils, with a further 10,000 reserved for the teachers who will accompany them, according to Deputy Education Minister Giorgos Kalos. «It will be the lesson of a lifetime for our schoolchildren,» Kalos told Kathimerini. «They will get a close view of people who are robust in soul and body as well, and who also fully honor the Olympic ideals.» The tickets will be for afternoon and weekend events.