OPINION

The ruin of the education system

Inventories taken every so often of the education sector show deficits far greater and more dangerous than those in the economy. Nationwide senior high school exams and scientific studies carried out among students show that our young people confuse words (and therefore their meanings) and are lacking in what is the purpose of every education system – critical thought. The problems emerge every time the examinations make front-page news – another unique phenomenon characteristic of Greece – due to «lack of clarity in the questions,» and this shows that two things are happening. Firstly, rote learning is deeply embedded in the education system and anything that slightly diverges from the set material is immediately seen as a «trick question.» Secondly, the cramming colleges are cited in the media for their views on whether the exams were «easy» or «difficult.» The main problem, however, is that all levels of education are producing graduates that have the formal qualifications but are essentially uneducated. Three-quarters of graduate philologists receive grades below the passing mark on the civil service entrance examinations. Greece went through a period of populism where everything was brought down to one common denominator, and the results are obvious in the education system. As part of a misguided attempt to be more democratic, neither the teachers nor the material they teach is subjected to any evaluation. No one receives either punishment nor praise for the work they do. The system simply reproduces itself. The situation is more than worrying. When talking about education, we are not evaluating a process that will eventually lead to negative consequences. We are looking at the ruins. A comprehensive reform of the entire system is absolutely necessary.