OPINION

Poor problem-solving

It was hardly surprising when it was revealed last week that Greek pupils who took part in an assessment program in 2003 – which is organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 40 states every three years – came 32nd in mathematics and problem-solving and 30th when it came to reading comprehension and sciences. All of us – parents, teachers, even the government itself – acknowledge that our education system is in dire straits and urgently requires restructuring and reform from its very foundations if we want future generations to receive a proper education so we can eventually evolve into a more cultivated society. But what is depressing is that, although we recognize our failings (Greek schoolchildren gave an equally dismal performance in the OECD’s previous assessment program in 2000 – gaining 28th place out of 30 countries) and although it rankles us that the Greek education system evidently has a lot to answer for, instead of sitting down and finding a solution to the problem, we simply offer excuses to justify our poor performance and avert any blow to our national pride… When Germany saw that it had dropped from the top five following the OECD’s assessment for 2000, a national investigation was immediately launched to determine the reasons why schoolchildren were falling behind, and measures were implemented to improve their performance in the long term…