Computer Science Teachers Association, Greece Proposing Giant Step Backward (26/08/2013)

August 26, 2013

Greece Proposing Giant Step Backward

Anyone who has followed the international news for the last couple of years has likely heard of the ongoing economic crisis in Greece. Only now, however, are we hearing about how that crisis is directly impacting education in the form of a new piece of legislation that will eliminate key Informatics (information technology and computer science) courses.

A new bill entitled New Lyceum is currently under public consultation and it is expected to be submitted in final form to the Greek Parliament at the end of this month. If the new legislation passes, it will eliminate the Information and Communications Technology classes from the general upper secondary curriculum in Greek schools.

CSTA members in Greece tell us that this proposed legislation is the latest in a series of national money-saving efforts which have specifically targeted teachers. According to Mina Theofilatou, who teaches Informatics at the secondary level in Argostoli, Greece, these efforts have been both extreme and frightening:

Each time the state "runs out of money", new measures need to be taken in return for the next loan instalment. Teachers were one of the easiest targets: first our salaries were slashed by approximately 40%. Then they increased our working week by 2 hours, and threatened to relocate us to any place in Greece if we were identified as "surplus" in our own region ... Finally, when we started discussing a strike in reaction to all these unfair measures, they proceeded to issue a mobilisation order against us, served to each and every one of us by a policeman at our school or worse yet, our doorstep.

More recently, says Theofilatou, the government began firing teachers in a effort to cut 15,000 civil service jobs in order to meet the current loan installment. The firings began with the elimination of 46 technology courses at the secondary level, resulting in the loss of many teachers' jobs. The New Lyceum legislation is seen as an attempt to create similar employee reductions by eliminating computing courses.

Educators in Greece are attempting to lobby the Ministry of Education and the Greek Members of the European Parliament, but it is difficult to say at this point whether their efforts will have any effect.

Chris Stephenson
Executive Director, CSTA

[Αρχική δημοσίευση]