Education Minister Diamantopoulou States School Shortages Not as Serious as Predicted

    Only a few hundred teaching posts will remain empty when the new academic year starts on Monday, rather than the thousands of vacancies that had been predicted by teaching unions.
    Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou said the shortages at primary and secondary schools would not be as serious as was thought a few weeks ago.
    “We are here to responsibly inform citizens, 15,500 schools, 1.4 million pupils and their parents, as well as 160,000 teachers that the doom-mongers have been proved wrong,” she told journalists. “All those who wanted to score petty, party political points have seen their efforts dashed.”
    This represents a turnaround from August when the government faced the double whammy of a larger than usual number of teachers, at more than 11,000 retiring and a low number of new hires at just over 2,000 due to public spending cuts.
    Diamantopoulou indicated the Primary Teachers’ Federation (DOE) and the Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OLME) had exaggerated the problem, which has been tackled by the transfer of some personnel and the hiring of substitutes.