Education reform plan courts controversy

1 June 2016
787 Views

Education reform proposals made by the head of Greece’s Committee for National and Social Dialogue, Antonis Liakos, prompted a series of disparaging remarks on Tuesday.

Among the most controversial suggestions was that primary schoolchildren and their parents should sign a “contract of honor” containing a series of principles governing their education, such as showing respect for their school and teachers.

Liakos also proposes that the pupils and their parents are occasionally briefed individually or in groups by experts in the field of education regarding aspects of “democratic humanism.”

According to the explanation he provided, one of the points that should be made to pupils and their parents is that although each child is “unique and special” they should also be made aware that they are equals with other children, and not “princes or princesses.”

This sentence was a cause for much derision on social media.

Liakos took to Facebook to defend himself. “We have handed over our report. One hundred of us did the best that we could. If it is implemented it will be a game changer,” wrote Liakos. “Today, we go to the beach.”

Another controversial aspect of the proposals made by Liakos’s panel is that senior high school students applying to enter university should be given incentives to apply to fewer institutions.

Under the plan, pupils applying to one institution would be given extra credits in comparison to those applying to more universities.

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