Upgrade is a fine word and at first blush no one would quarrel with the upgrading of Greece state schools, as long as successive governments do not use it to serve partisan objectives and as long as it does not unsettle students and parents.

The education ministry law passed by Parliament yesterday revives some of the victims of the fixations of the previous government such as teacher evaluations and the institution of Model-Experimental [specialised] Schools.

The law introduces certain innovative provisions such as the teaching of English beginning in nursery schools but also restores certain controversial practices of the past such as rating students’ conduct on diplomas.

It implements a reform that should not be followed by yet another reform by the next government because as the PM said in Parliament yesterday, “That which cannot change withers.”

On the other hand that which changes constantly is abolished.

That is especially so in the sensitive area of education where there is no room for partisanship or trade unionism.

The pandemic was a difficult test for students and teachers.

It shut down schools and universities for an extended period and pushed long-distance learning (which supplements but does not substitute) to the forefront.

It postponed the tabling of the bill in Parliament and rendered more difficult a related dialogue and public consultation.

Thus, now is the time to cease mutual recriminations.

Political parties and education-related groups should allow the reforms to be implemented and go forward.

Society has great expectations and further delay is impermissible.

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