Thursday, October 03, 2013

Blog 4: Eurozone Crisis and Greek Schools

Students have taken the baton from their teachers in Greece. The crisis in the Eurozone is dragging on and the crippling weight of Austerity is crushing Greeks. Many teachers had gone on strike against the cutting of the Greek education budget and their personal wages. Many of the teachers have been forced back to teaching at risk of bankrupting themselves and it is now the students who have taken to protesting.
Greek students have begun breaking into their school at night and barricading themselves inside in protest. Students make the point that they are not vandals and go as far to take on the responsibility of cleaning the classes in the absences of the administration.
The Greek education system was one of the lowest funded in Europe before the crisis and has remained at a steady 4% of GDP in Greece. However, since the crisis began the economy of Greece has shrunk by 25% and this has been felt in the Greek education system.

The Greek government insists that is is cutting wasteful spending in the education system. In the past year 18,000 teachers have been let go, over one-hundred vocational schools closed and thousands more teachers placed on reserve.
Many older Greeks harbor growing concern for the affect this austerity will have on the next generation of Greeks. Beyond the high unemployment (a dangerous factor for the youth to begin with) but the increased activism manifesting itself in illegal activities. "What will happen to 12- to 15-year-old students in junior high school, who learn at this tender age how to break the law?" asked Paschos Mandravelis, a local journalist. Many fear that this learned nature int he youth to rail against the government could manifest itself dangerously in the future.


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