NEWS

Four years on and TEEs are still failing to win the trust of children or parents

Just two hours of lessons per day is the norm at technical-vocational high schools (TEEs), which were set up four years ago by the Education Ministry in order to raise the profile of technological and vocational secondary education. Badly organized, TEEs have not managed to attain the importance that vocational education has in other European states. Short of books and personnel, the TEEs function below capacity even three months after the start of the school year, with the result that teachers dub them as caricatures of schools. Most importantly of all, TEEs have not managed to win the trust of children, parents or society, especially in the provinces. Never a top priority, because they held no votes for the nearby municipalities, TEEs suffer from a lack of buildings. The emphasis is on «traditional» general studies, with the result that 600-700 pupils may be packed into a building with a capacity for 300. According to the statistics of the Vocational Education Directorate of the Education Ministry, 472 TEEs throughout Greece currently supply the needs of 130,000 students. No goal, no means The problems of TEEs begin with the lack of clear goals and the means to achieve them. Originally presented as the road toward the development of vocational education, they were soon attracting large numbers of mediocre students who could not handle the demanding exam schedule of the general senior high school to the extent that, in the year 2000-2001, TEE students outnumbered the ones in regular high school. «Thousands of students entered TEEs because they considered them easier than regular lykeia. The TEEs did not protect themselves as they should have done so that they could remain equal to regular high schools,» OLME president Nikos Tsoulias. «There are some 500 subjects, with the result that there are no books, teachers or laboratories. TEEs have been upgraded only on paper,» he added.