Greek Education Minister Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos is frantically trying to find cash for his agency to stave off burgeoning protests and strikes that face the country’s schools and universities, the newspaper Proto Thema reported.
The academic year begins on Sept. 11 with many teachers set to walk off the job for the next day to protest more pay cuts and austerity measures, as well as merged schools and bigger class sizes, while university professors angry their pay will be cut say they will probably strike as well, even though they have limited working hours.
Arvanitopoulos is also trying to avoid a repetition of last year’s boondoggle when school books weren’t ready for months. Greece’s crushing economic crisis has led to many families pulling their children from private schools for public universities which have far easier entrance requirements and are free.
In a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Arvanitopoulos said that, “books have been distributed on time, and we are doing our best to have as less lack in books and other sorts of material as possible.” Last year it was left up to teachers to print and copy books so that students would have materials.