Greek High School teachers are holding general assemblies all over Greece today to decide whether they will go on strike during the University entrance examinations period. The aim of the strike is to protest against a law that, the High School teachers Union claims, will cause thousands to be fired, hundreds to be transferred, their salaries to be reduced.
Greek society is once again deeply divided: according to a poll 52% are against the strike and about 48 support it. In the meantime, I have just read that several hundred of students are not allowed to sit for the exams because their immigrant parents have lost their work permit and therefore their residence permit due to unemployment.
Ever since my return to Greece, which coincided with the first PASOK government, I have been wondering why Greek education is in such bad shape. No student dreams of entering the University Entrance Exams without private tuition. Primary school is heavily criticised but nothing is done to improve the situation. Kindergarden is obligatory but very few public nurseries are equipped to deal with infants. The only change all governments (PASOK and New Democracy) ever attempted was to the system governing the University Entrance Examinations. The opposition en masse positions itself on the side of the teachers without even mentioning the state of the education system. Whatever happens education will be the loser in the end..