Extra English at state schools?

Hoping to boost the number of state secondary school pupils attending supplementary courses after the day’s normal classes, the government is considering adding English to the curriculum, sources told Kathimerini yesterday. Education Minister Petros Efthymiou met with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, mainly to discuss policy on universities and state technical colleges (TEI). But, according to a senior ministry source, the agenda included a proposal for adding English to the after-hours curriculum at state high schools. According to Education Ministry estimates, this could increase attendance at supplementary classes – adopted to help weaker students while chipping away at cramming institutes’ (frontistiria) control of the market – to 150,000 this year, up from 100,000 in 2001. The source said the government is considering allowing frontistiria teachers to participate in the program. Speaking to journalists, Efthymiou expressed delight at Tuesday’s Eurostat report which found that 58 percent of young Greeks aged 18-21 are university or TEI students, the highest such rate in the EU.