Minister launches education debate

Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos yesterday made the first move in his bid to launch a national debate on higher education, inviting all political parties to appoint a representative to sit on a cross-party parliamentary committee. So far the main opposition PASOK and far-right LAOS have agreed to participate in the debate while the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the Communist Party have refused to take part. The response from the academic community is likely to be equally mixed. The president of the State Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME), Costas Maniatis, was unenthusiastic yesterday. «The government does not want substantial dialogue but is trying to involve educationalists in an endless and disorienting process,» he said. The committee is expected to focus on improving the system for students’ transition from senior high to university. According to sources, models that have been applied in other countries will be examined. The same sources say that the issue of foreign colleges operating in Greece, and the rights of those who graduate from these institutions, will be put on the back burner for the time being.

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