Bid to boost high schools

The government’s top education adviser yesterday called for changes to senior high school teaching to keep students focused and stop them abandoning classes for private tuition. Thanos Veremis, the head of the National Education Council, proposed a reduction in the number of lessons, from 12 to six or seven, to free up afternoons for additional study. He also suggested the allocation of an additional year for students to prepare for university entrance examinations. «Our aim is to get students out of cramming schools and into classrooms,» Veremis said, adding that schools «have been abandoned.» Veremis has been advising Education Minister Aris Spiliotopoulos, who this week invited all parties to a debate on education. The minister got his first rebuff yesterday from the Communist Party, which dismissed the drive as «a bid to pass predetermined decisions imposed by the European Union.»