Education bill passes in Parliament; minister accuses SYRIZA of all-out war against her

A draft bill on “upgrading schools and supporting teachers” was voted on Wednesday night, with 158 MPs supporting it in principle and 133 rejecting it.

A total of 291 MPs took part in the vote.

Two controversial articles were voted on by roll call, following a request by main opposition SYRIZA: Article 56 on the process to evaluate teachers was supported by 158 MPs and rejected by 106, with 27 declaring “present”, while Article 185 on abolishing, merging and renaming universities was supported by 158 MPs, and rejected by 133.

Education minister

Two worlds are clashing in Parliament for the new educational bill, Education Ministry Niki Kerameus said in a plenary session on Wednesday prior to a vote, “the world of the government and the world of SYRIZA.”

Kerameus charged the main opposition with starting a personal war against her through online petitions that call for her resignation and said the bill will create a school system that relates to the needs of the future.

“Two worlds are clashing today,” she said, “the world of the government which tabled the bill on education, autonomy and freedom of schools and teachers, and the world of Syriza, which tabled amendments asking for the abolition of a minimum threshold grade to enter university, the abolition of a bank of themes [for entrance exams] and the abolition of evaluating teachers of universities as well, and linking them to funding.”

She said that the government will continue to fight for a better school system that reflects societal needs and leads to growth. “The education we provide our children today will define Greece’s future,” she said.