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Protesting teachers set up camping tents outside Education ministry

Armed with camping tents, dozens of elementary school teachers set them up outside the Education Ministry in Athens to protest changes in hiring criteria.

They quickly set up their tents blocking the two entrances of the ministry with the effect that the ministry workers could not leave the building when the shift was over.

Some two hundred unemployed and part-time teachers demanded permanent work contracts and modification of a new law that “will cancel university diplomas and work experience,” as they say.

Protesters said that the new system of hiring “alternate” teachers incl those for special education introduces a point system including  points for 400 hours of seminars.

Later, protesters allowed the ministry personnel to go home.

I don’t know much about the teachers’ issues, but the point system for hiring in public administration, institutions, municipalities, and even entrance to university is indeed one of the weirdest systems I have seen. One may have 20 years of working experience, speak 3 languages, and other skills. But he will get less points if competitor has just finished PhD, has certification for two languages, has an underage child and zero years of working experience.

For aspiring university students, what counts next to the entrance exams degree is also if one is member of a family with more than 2 children and some other criteria which I honestly do not understand what do they have to do with skills.

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  1. The Greek state has never understood the concept of “ability”, let alone how to measure it. So, it uses proxies for ability and employment priority: pieces of paper saying that you completed some (usually irrelevant) courses of study, and young children or maybe a menagerie of cats and dogs would also suffice. In other words, the qualifications for getting a job in the Greek state sector have almost nothing at all to do with the job being awarded. This guarantees a perpetuation of formalism over empirical reality, meaning that Greece is dragging itself even deeper into Third World status.