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Greece: Teacher evaluations become mandatory

The evaluation of teachers and schools in Greece is now becoming mandatory, according to a decision by Education Minister Niki Kerameus conveyed to schools, to the chagrin of trade unionists who, as they did last year, are seeking to set up barriers to the initiative, declaring their refusal to take part in the procedures.

However, the legal services of the relevant federations and unions have noted there will be legal consequences for any violations of the evaluation of educators and schools.

More specifically, Article 56 of Law 4823/2021 stipulates that these violations constitute a special form of disciplinary misconduct, which incurs disciplinary penalties that include a fine equal to one month’s salary, a freeze on wage progression, the dismissal of executives and exclusion from executive positions for eight years.

According to the assessment guides sent to schools by the Institute of Educational Policy, the emphasis of the assessment is placed on educational work, and, in particular, on distance education in the midst of a pandemic.

These evaluations seek to ascertain how e-learning was organized and operated, what the problems faced by schools were and how they were addressed.

What’s more, an assessment will be made of the efforts to ensure the active participation of students.

At the same time, teachers will be evaluated individually on a four-point scale: unsatisfactory, satisfactory, very good, excellent.

Teachers who are judged as unsatisfactory will undergo training, leading some critics to opine that those educators that score poorly are essentially let off the hook.

“Why should anyone react to [evaluations]?” an experienced trade unionist told Kathimerini, implying that that there is essentially no “punishment” for teachers who are judged unsatisfactory.

The only setback for them is that they will lag behind in scoring for administrative positions.

The same trade unionist added that there is no quota for the maximum distribution of teachers per assessment category.

“Everyone can be judged very good or excellent, there is no limit,” said the trade unionist, who has a long tenure in the ranks of PASOK and considers the regulations “absolutely applicable.”

For his part, SYRIZA’s shadow education minister Nikos Filis stated that SYRIZA unequivocally supports the struggle of teachers and the party is committed to back those who go on strike in case the government proceeds with “any unconstitutional sanctions against them.”