Students paid for diplomas

Up to 5,000 students obtained diplomas from private technical high schools (TEEs) and used those qualifications to apply for public sector jobs even though they had not met graduation criteria and, in some cases, had never attended classes, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Public sector inspectors found that seven private schools in Larissa, three in Kavala, two in Trikala, two in Arta and one in Athens had accepted up to 20,000 euros in tuition fees from each student to give them diplomas that they allegedly should not have been awarded. Three of the schools in Larissa have already been shut down but the other institutions are being investigated by authorities. Sources said that the suspect diplomas have been used to apply for jobs at hospitals and nursery schools. Private and state-run TEEs were set up a few years ago to provide students with an alternative source for vocational training.