Thu 26 Feb 2015 03:27:00 PM EET
FROM OUR MEMBERS: GREECE. On January 25th 2015, general elections in Greece resulted for the first time in modern Greek history a government based on the Coalition of the Radical Left, Syriza. This might be good news for adult education in Greece, says Dr. George A. Koulaouzides.
"After five years of experiencing a harsh austerity programme imposed by the external institutional lenders, the Greek people reached their limits of tolerance toward a political system that in the name of an ambiguous economic salvation, sacrificed the social well-being of its citizens. Therefore the election results cannot be characterized as a surprise.
The programme of Syriza does not concern only public finance and the Greek economy. The programme contains many reforms in almost all the aspects of social life and the field of adult education is one of them.
Last year I was teaching a graduate course at the Democritus University of Thrace on lifelong learning and adult education. As the background work for a session on critical reflection, I researched the adult education views of political parties.
To my surprise the only party that had a well-structured and clear position was Syriza. Certain aspects create optimism – at least for those of us who support the idea that adult education and lifelong learning are a public good that are not only a tool to serve the "needs" of the labour market.
The proposals of the new government’s programme (see the box below) are certainly a promising framework for adult education in Greece. What remains to be seen is whether they will become specific educational policy measures. A first reading of the government's intentions allows me to assert that their proposals for adult education will be implemented and this will mean a new era for adult education in Greece."
Text and photo: Dr. George A. Koulaouzides