Argyris Koumtzis, 18, is blind. His disability did not hinder him to achieve top marks in high school and win several prizes in mathematics and physics competitions. Argyris is also a champion in chess. The 18-year-old student could have a bright future in front of him, if it wasn’t for the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The Physics Department of the University rejected Argyris for being blind.
Physics Department explanation:
“30% of the courses involve laboratory work that the students must conduct otherwise they cannot pass the exams or obtain a degree. We cannot accept applications from students who were totally blind or were disabled in the upper limbs.”
While there is a 5% quota at the universities for people with disabilities, it is understood that other physics departments has no such restrictions for blind students.
The case has trigger strong reactions in the Greek public opinion, the Minister of Education is expected to intervene in the matter, while the rector of University of Thessaloniki described the situation as “especially unpleasant”. In a statement starting with “Education does not allow isolation,” Yiannis Mylopoulos announced that it will bring the case to the next meeting of the university senate.
Read the full story here in English
PS Yes, Greece is known to have a heart for people with disabilities…