School shortages ‘to be tackled’

The Education Ministry, which is working on a plan to overhaul the setup at high schools from next year, reassured teachers yesterday that it would soon resolve any staff shortages at the 11,000 schools around the country. Members of the Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME) protested that their work hours were being extended in order to make up for the lack of educators. They also complained that the shortages have meant that class sizes at some schools are too large. According to OLME, there are 368 classes across Greece that have 28 to 30 students and another 20 classes that have 30 pupils or more. The ministry disputed the figures, saying that only 140 classes had more than 25 pupils and only four classes more than 30. Deputy Education Minister Evi Christofilopoulou said that the government had assured teachers the shortages would be tackled and that the teachers would not have to work beyond their normal hours to make up for the shortages. The Education Ministry is currently putting together proposals for a change to the way pupils are taught in high schools. According to plans seen by Kathimerini, this will involve reducing the number of compulsory hours per week from 32 to 24 and increasing the number of hours spent on lessons the pupils choose from two to 10. Students will also have to spend at least three hours a week studying English.

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