The Greek Government is trying to end so-called 'permanent students' at universities. But its efforts?
The Greek Government is trying to end so-called 'permanent students' at universities. But its efforts are meeting with strong resistance. The latest official proposal is to limit the number of times students can sit an examination. On Tuesday (29 August), several thousand young people gathered in front of Athens University to voice their opposition.
SYNOPSIS: Students of various political beliefs joined to stage their protest. Carrying anti-Government placards and slogans demanding "free democratic education", they marched through Athens streets to the university rendezvous.
At present, students are allowed to take an examination an unlimited number of times until they pass. The result, says the Greek Government, is a large number of people attending universities although they are no longer young, and who make a profession of being "permanent students'. A draft bill now before Parliament proposes to allow students to sit only twice for an examination.
Opposition parties, several educational organisations, and all Greek students' Unions consider the bill to be unconstitutional and undemocratic. While the authorities claim the bill will relieve numbers at universities, the students say their rights and liberties will be limited.
Hundreds of armed police were on hand to stop the protestors marching to Parliament where the bill is being debated. The students did not attempt to resist them, and dispersed peacefully after hearing speeches by their leaders.