OPINION

Media missing the point on education

A certain program on a private television channel earlier this week made it clear just how seriously Greek society is taking the issue of reforms to the education sector. The TV presenter, swinging between curses and unfortunate wisecracks, decided to broach the issue of the planned reform to Article 16 of the Constitution – which would pave the way for the establishment of private universities – and passed the microphone to university and school students to express their opinions on the subject. During this prime-time slot, we were subjected to the worrying spectacle of youngsters talking with the wooden, hackneyed language of politicians from a previous century. Meanwhile on other state and private TV channels, we were bombarded by debates among university academics who – through their use of quotations and jargon – gave us a taste of the ideological terrorism that is being exercised at Greek universities, where one is at risk of being marginalized if one does not belong to a specific political group. What really surprised me though was the reaction of the aforementioned TV presenter – instead of expressing his regret for the fact that the young generation is still being divided into political groupings, he complained about the wooden language being used by the youngsters. He too referred to the «approval» rather than the «discussion» of Article 16 and failed to consider the situation in developed countries where education is not separated into «state» and «private» sectors but is addressed as one entity. Neither did he say anything about the devaluation of degree certificates, provoked by the extreme partisanship which has destroyed the Greek university system. But who is to blame? It is not just certain university professors who have found a cushy deal for themselves and are «above judgment.» It is also many others who have failed to ask the question: «What do you believe in and whose side are you on?» But we are continually bombarded with poisonous TV programs. At some point, we should listen to the true progressives, those who set this country on the path toward progress. In this era of dizzyingly fast change, some are fearful of competing, perhaps because they know they are not up to it.