Education minister:"Students will not miss semester"

Wed, 31 Jan 2024 7:58 GMT
Education minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis: 'We are ready to carry out finals online; students will not miss the semester'
Education minister:"Students will not miss semester"

The universities where sit-ins are preventing students from sitting for their finals are fully ready to carry them out online, Education, Religions, and Sports Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis asserted on ANT1 TV on Monday.

"We are ready both for the completion of courses and for the examinations through digital means; after all, there is experience in this from the pandemic," Pierrakakis said, referring to a same-day decision by university rectors to accept a proposal by him for online procedures.

Universities are occupied by students protesting the government's plans to allow the founding of private universities along with the state recognition of their degrees.

"In two-thirds of sections at university schools there is no problem, and examinations will go ahead as usual. The problem lies with the remaining one-third of sections, which will use digital teaching and examinations. There is absolutely no danger of missing a semester," the minister asserted, adding that "what is happening with sit-ins is inconceivable."

Pierrakakis called on rectors to assume their responsibilities for the normal operation of their respective schools, and said that police has already intervened where necessary, as "there is a specific legal framework and the law will be carried out." He also reassured rectors that they should not worry about calling the police, as the government "supports them in their operation and supports the self-rule of universities, but they have ex officio obligations and they must assume them."

Responding to charges that the government's decision on private universities undermines the public ones, the education minister said, "We are funding public universities with over 1 billion euros, when funding was dropping off gradually up to 2018, and started rising again after 2018. In order to see the care for public universities, let me reveal the following: the new law for the non-state, non-profit universities includes 200 articles, of which 170 relate to the public universities and the boosting of their self-governing nature, to free them from the bureaucracy, and only 30 refer to non-state, non-profit institutions."

"In the final end, who is threatening public universities, the government that supports them unreservedly, or those who undermine them with sit-ins?" he asked.

Pierrakakis reiterated the government's commitment for entrance-level requirements at private universities that will be "the toughest in Europe" and added, "At non-state, non-profit universities we offer the necessary academic rights, so that they are normal university-level educational institutions, besides professional universities that have them and colleges, which we were forced to accept by European legislation."


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