NEWS

Education a long-term investment

The Greek education system has many problems related to quality and organization and cannot compete on an international level. There is the all-pervasive feeling that a few basic things should be done to change this. Is there a plan to change the current situation? The first moves have been made: changes to the tertiary entrance procedures, the abolition of state examinations in the second year of senior high, a pass mark for entry to tertiary education, and a new agency for approving foreign degrees based on transparency and objectivity. Then there is the upgrading of the technical high schools and the more general effort to transform schools from places where information is passed on into places of acquiring a true education. We have a clear program. Personally I have a clear idea of what education should be. But to a certain extent, the education issue is similar to the social security problem, in the sense that it is a long-term investment. Whatever view one might have, education has been more affected by the frequent changes, no doubt well-intentioned. However, we have said that we will provide a framework for a national dialogue on education to decide on at least a few basic priorities. That we have done, and I believe that we have made some progress. Of course, the national dialogue must continue with a number of other issues such as the quality of education, competitiveness and the right to lifelong education to ensure career mobility. The ideal would be a consensus on a basic core, with a 20-year perspective.