Schoolteacher exams to change

Aspiring schoolteachers will have to wait until February to sit state examinations for teaching posts that had been due to take place this year, following a decision by the Education Ministry to change the criteria by which teachers are appointed to Greek schools in order to raise the quality of teaching. The ministry is to work with the state Pedagogical Institute to assess whether graduates of state technical colleges (TEIs) and certain university departments deemed to be less geared toward teaching should be given the opportunity to teach in schools by sitting the examinations set by the state Supreme Council for Personnel Selection (ASEP). «In view of the sheer number of graduates or aspiring graduates whose schools of study are not geared toward teaching but who nevertheless want to sit the (ASEP) examination, we must monitor in detail the programs of these studies and determine whether the skills of the graduates meet with the demands of modern teaching,» Deputy Education Minister Giorgios Kalos told Kathimerini yesterday. The ministry also plans to change the content of examinations, testing candidates on a broader range of subjects in both arts and science subjects. The performance of candidates who sat the ASEP exams in 1998, 2000 and 2002 was less than impressive, despite having shown a gradual improvement over the years. In 2002, just one in three (33.53 percent) examinees passed the threshold for appointment to a teaching post in a state school. In 2000, 29.3 percent of candidates passed the ASEP exam and in 1998 just 23.1 percent managed to scrape through.