Teachers say training for new textbooks inadequate

Tomorrow morning, primary school pupils will encounter 26 new textbooks and junior high pupils 30 new ones. And junior high graduates who have chosen technical education will attend the first class of the new professional senior high schools that have replaced the technical high schools (TEE), which start being phased out this year. The changes will affect upward of 1.5 million pupils in primary and secondary education and around 150,000 teachers at more than 15,500 Greek schools. Teachers’ unions have complained about slipshod planning. «Teacher training for the new textbooks was superficial and theoretical, as they didn’t even have books for all the participants at many seminars,» State Senior High School Teachers’ Federation (OLME) Secretary Grigoris Kalomiris told Kathimerini. «Does a teacher need many hours of training?» we asked an experienced teacher from the Arsakeio School, who responded: «Training is essential because the approach and teaching methods are different. This wasn’t training but an inadequate briefing. Not all the books were presented. And they were presented in a piecemeal fashion,» added Greek Teachers’ Federation member Costas Tsoulgaridis. As for the new vocational senior schools (EPAP), teachers lament that a new step in education has begun with the abolition of some schools. Sixty-one TEE will not evolve into EPAP. As OLME council member Themis Kotsifakis told Kathimerini, the number of initial enrollments in EPAP is down from last year. Technical education has been shrinking (in 2004-2005, enrollments in the first class of TEE were down 14.3 percent on the previous year, and in 2005-2006, they fell a further 4.9 percent).