Prompted by the dwindling number of pupils, the Inner Cabinet yesterday approved plans to scrap technical high schools in favor of creating a new breed of senior high schools to produce young professionals. According to the draft law which will soon be submitted to Parliament, graduates from the new professional high schools (EPAL) will receive specialized teaching in technical and business subjects as well as on general matters. Upon graduating, they will be able to apply to universities and not just technical colleges (TEI). «We are sure that the bill will have the broadest possible support,» said Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, «which is needed so that this new structure can progress.» The move comes because the number of schoolchildren opting to continue their education at technical high schools (TEE) has fallen off in recent years. According to the National Statistics Service, some 131,000 students enrolled at TEEs in 2002-03 compared to 121,000 in 2003-04 and 111,000 last year.