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Parents and teachers do not want a compulsory ski vacation for the children

15 January 2014 / 17:01:09  GRReporter
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Teachers, parents and pupils are following with mixed feelings the new "series" by the Ministry of Education, its title being "White Week" and its scene the schools throughout the country.

In a year that began with strikes and protests in the area of ​​education and during which two election races (for the European Parliament and local authorities) will take place in May, when schools will close for two days (on Friday and on Monday due to the preparation for the elections), the Ministry of Education is a step away from the decision to introduce the so-called "White week" or a compulsory ski vacation.

Of course this is not an initiative of the Ministry but the result of the steps taken by the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to stimulate, through the introduction of appropriate incentives, domestic tourism and hence the local communities and economies in winter.
This proposal originally suggested the closure of schools from 4 March to 7 March following Clean Monday but the Ministry responded that if something similar happened, it would be only for two days and without loss of classes, as they would be offset through other excursions planned during the year.

"How could the Ministry of Education, which takes care of not losing a single class when it comes to teachers' strikes or protests by students, agree to devote an entire week to ... skiing?" head of the federation of secondary education teachers Themis Kotsifakis asks ironically before To Vima newspaper, expressing the view that the government does not care about public education.

"If the school year is properly planned and properly starts in September and if there is a longer period between the Christmas and Easter vacations then such a proposal could be accepted," states former head of the federation Nikos Papachristos. "Under today's conditions I think however that this would create problems because the aim of this proposal is not for the students to relax but for tourism to be stimulated," he states.

Anyway, the ski vacation is a policy applied in many European countries where this vacation helps the organisation of winter excursions. There, however, as the teachers say, skiing is a widespread and popular sport and the summer vacation is not as long as in Greece, where this is due to the lack of infrastructure and sports activities at schools.

"The vacations of pupils should be based on educational priorities rather than on the priorities of hoteliers," teacher Stratos Stratigakis comments on the issue.

He also asks the logical question of how this ski vacation will be implemented since the majority of the pupils’ parents will not be able to take advantage of the state-regulated "period of rest" two days after Clean Monday. In addition, if they cannot obtain a two-day leave, the parents of young children will be faced with another problem, namely where to leave them while they are at work.

Moreover, the majority of parents say they have stopped spending unnecessarily and limited themselves to strict necessities and more than a few pupils have stopped going on excursions organised by the school or their class, which last several days, mainly for financial reasons.
The opponents of the proposal also add that winter in Greece is much milder than in Europe, where the ski vacation is introduced because of the bad weather conditions that hinder the teaching process and other activities. They also add that something similar happens in Greece but because of the hot summer.

"Well, I am against this proposal if they are going to take some days from the other vacations," a pupil from a primary school in the centre of Athens told To Vima...

Tags: Ski vacationHellenic federation of hoteliersFederation of secondary education teachers
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