Artists-educators in Greece: the public sector and their problems

Developed by Dimitra

Artists – educators comprise one of the most precarious sectors as for educational professional fields in the public sector in Greece. With the beginning of the school year, problems faced by primary and secondary school teachers are repeated with greater severity. Specifically, lately there have been increasing complaints about multifaceted problems with the appointment and hiring of substitute teachers, in usually remote areas only for a few months. One of the most important is the assignments in primary education. Based on the anti-education laws of all governments over the years, the Ministry of Education is currently forcing teachers, who objectively lack the necessary skills, to teach art classes in order to fill in teaching hours, literally throwing out artistic teachers with expertise and the knowledge necessary to teach art.

Equally serious is the problem with the newly appointed teachers, who, after the financial bleeding and the fatigue they suffered in order to collect titles and certifications, after many years of ‘nomadic life’ as substitute-teachers, they are now facing the grim reality of working and living conditions. They are usually appointed for two years in remote areas away from their place of residence, facing the serious problems of housing and meeting the unbearable daily expenses. Their placement in 2,3, even 5 schools, with long distances between them, even in different cities, leads many educators to refuse their appointment and to resort to other professions and retraining.

The problems are compounded by the abolition of teaching art in high school. Specifically, according to certain Laws from 2020, the art classes were abolished from the first grade of High School, while in secondary school classes it is a one-hour course, which, although it requires a laboratory, is not classified as a ‘laboratory course’. All of the above is a result of the anti-educational and anti-people’s laws, which, as links in the same chain, promote the stripping of the school of all-round knowledge and culture, the strengthening of the class nature of education, and the further flexibilization of teachers’ labour relations.