The school year started on Monday in Greece with the traditional holy water sanctification. Over one million students went to class, but with 5,000 less teachers.
Specifically, the first bell for the 2017-2018 school year rang for 573,744 grade school students, 293,000 junior high school students, 210,000 high school students, and nearly 150,000 teachers and professors.
Even though the Greek government claims that this is the first school year that started without teacher vacant spots, the teachers and professors union (OLME) are talking about significant vacancies of 4,000 teachers for grade schools and 1,000 for high school professors.
The education ministry is disputing the data presented by the union; however, no data are presented showing that the 5,000 vacant spots are indeed filled.
According to the education ministry, 15,371 temporary teachers have been recruited to bridge the teaching staff gaps.
Education Minister Costas Gavroglou visited the Perdika grade school in Aegina for the sanctification ceremony. Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece; Ieronymos, attended the sanctification of the 3rd primary school of Agioi Anargyroi.