New agenda for senior high students

Senior high school pupils preparing for university exams will have fewer subjects to study if draft reforms being considered by the Education Ministry pass into law, but they will also have their academic performance in their first and second years of senior high assessed before being offered a place in higher education, it emerged yesterday. According to the planned changes, due to come into effect in 2013, senior high students will study four subjects in their second and third years – instead of the current six – and will be tested on these four subjects at the end of the third year. But the students will be expected to study twice as much as they do now, Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou told private television channel Mega yesterday. Also the students’ performance in their first and second years at senior high will count as much as their university entrance examination result in their assessment for a place at university or technical college, she said. The aim is for the new curriculum to be gradually introduced at schools around the country during the next academic year and for the new system to be introduced in 2013, she added. Diamantopoulou did not comment on how a shortage of teachers at schools might affect the introduction of the new program, under which senior high school students will be expected to spend more time in the classroom. The minister admitted there were about 2,500 vacant posts at Greek schools but said these positions would be filled over the next few months. At the end of last month – after the results of university entrance exams taken by thousands of high school students revealed a significant deterioration since last year – Diamantopoulou heralded a rehaul of the secondary education sector that would include an attempt to impose greater discipline on high school students.

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