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High-school students & teachers hold first protest amid pandemic lockdown

High-school students along with parents and teachers rallied against the new Education law in the first protest amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wearing masks and gloves, they marched through downtown Athens and stood outside the Parliament where they raised banners demanding the withdrawal of the legislation but also immediate measures for the extraordinary circumstances due to the virus that has shut down schools for one and a half month.

They also demanded that the Education Ministry sets a specific date for the university entrance exams.

Schools but also tutorial schools have been closed since March 6th due to the pandemic, and while the government is planning to start gradually lifting the restriction measures, experts are divided about the reopening of the schools. Those of the 3rd Lyceum Grade fear they may not be able to participate with success to the exams. The Ministry has vaguely announced that the university entrance exams will take place between mid-June and mid-July.

Furthermore, the students demand no exams this year for the other classes of high schools, lyceums and vocational lyceums (EPAL) as well as “measure to ensure that all students have access to modern tele-education.”

The new legislation reportedly foresees, among others, increase of number of students per class in pre-school and elementary schools, age limit for EPAL, “exams-marathon” in secondary education, tightening the criteria for the promotion of one class to the next, a themes-bank, return to anachronistic pedagogical measures such the noting of “behavior” on diplomas.

It should be noted that this was the first protest held in the middle of the pandemic and the lockdown measures.

Some of the participants followed the organizers instructions for masks ans gloves but they did not follow strictly the safety distance.

Protests were held also in other Greek cities.

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