Τετάρτη, 7 Μαρτίου 2012

WIKILEAKS:Ο ΓΙΩΡΓΟΣ ΜΠΑΜΠΙΝΙΩΤΗΣ,ΥΠ.ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ ΠΛΕΟΝ,ΕΝΗΜΕΡΩΝΕ ΑΠΕΥΘΕΙΑΣ ΤΗΝ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΗ ΠΡΕΣΒΕΙΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΘΕΜΑΤΑ ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ


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ΓΙΑ ΟΣΟΥΣ ΔΕΝ ΤΟ ΞΕΡΟΥΝ,ΥΠΑΡΧΕΙ ΕΓΓΡΑΦΟ ΝΤΟΚΟΥΜΕΝΤΟ ΤΩΝ WIKILEAKS ΤΟ ΟΠΟΙΟ ΔΗΜΟΣΙΕΥΤΗΚΕ ΤΟΝ ΣΕΠΤΕΜΒΡΙΟ ΤΟΥ 2011 ΚΑΙ ΑΝΑΦΕΡΕΙ ΠΩΣ Ο ΜΠΑΜΠΙΝΙΩΤΗΣ,ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ ΠΛΕΟΝ...ΕΝΗΜΕΡΩΝΕ ΑΠΕΥΘΕΙΑΣ ΤΗΝ ΑΜΕΡΙΚΑΝΙΚΗ ΠΡΕΣΒΕΙΑ ΓΙΑ ΤΑ ΘΕΜΑΤΑ ΤΗΣ ΠΑΙΔΕΙΑΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΛΛΑΔΑ!!!
ΔΙΑΒΑΣΤΕ ΟΛΟ ΤΟ ΕΓΓΡΑΦΟ ΕΔΩ



Greek Education Reform Expert Wants U.S. Help  
   
  C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 000407










FOR EUR/SE, EUR/PPD AND ECA 




E.O. 12958: DECL: 2019/03/31 
TAGS: PGOV, OPRC, OEXC, SCUL, GR 
SUBJECT: Greek Education Reform Expert Wants U.S. Help 




REF: ATHENS 260 




CLASSIFIED BY: Daniel V. Speckhard, Ambassador, State, Executive; 
REASON: 1.4(B), (D) 




1. (C) Summary: In a March 26 meeting with PAO and CAO, Greek 
education reform expert Babiniotis shared GoG plans and timelines, 
and enthusiastically welcomed U.S. assistance on implementing a 
national university entrance exam system based on the Scholastic 
Aptitude Test (SAT). End summary. 




2. (C) Prominent linguist, scholar, former rector of Athens 
University (2000-2006) and GoG expert responsible for reforming the 
Greek university entrance exam system, Professor George Babiniotis, 
met with PAO and CAO on March 26. Babiniotis was candid about the 
failings of the educational system in Greece, and the challenges to 
implementing reforms. 




3. (C) The current university admittance system is untenable, 
Babiniotis said. Most parents and students view a university 
degree as the ticket to advancement, which is the reason that more 
than 100,000 students apply each year for the 40,000 university 
slots. To be competitive, high school students concentrate on 
private institution (frontistiria)-provided university preparatory 
classes rather than their regular school classes. As a result 
secondary students memorize material to pass the examinations 
rather than really mastering subject matter. "We are graduating 
aspiring university students rather than well-educated kids," he 
lamented. 








U.S. Assistance on University Testing Needed 




4. (C) Babiniotis wants to change the current university entrance 
system to one similar to that in the U.S., based on a combination 
of high school grades and performance on a standardized exam 
similar to the SAT, which students can take whenever they feel 
ready to do so, thereby minimizing the pressure on students and the 
reliance on frontistiria. At present the future of each student 
depends on the performance on the day of the entrance examination. 
Greece needs to develop a data bank of questions and computer based 
testing allowing students the freedom to take the examinations at a 
date of their convenience and to take the examination more than 
once. (Tests derived from data banks select by random a limited 
number of questions for a particular examination out of the tens of 
thousands of possible questions.) With a large data bank of 
questions, each examination would be unique for each test taker, 
making it almost impossible to cheat or memorize test questions in 
advance. Babiniotis enthusiastically accepted PAO's offer to 
provide U.S. expertise on computerized testing as the GoG moves 
down this path. 








Prospects for Reform are Good 




5. (C) According to Babiniotis, political prospects for 
educational reform are improving. New Democracy and the opposition 
PASOK parties are working together on a solution; Babiniotis has 
seen PASOK's proposals (reftel) and thinks they are "logical," but 
added that it is easier to push such reforms when in the 
opposition. Babiniotis agreed that the elections for leadership 
of the university teachers union (POSDEP), which ousted the 
radicals supported by SYRIZA, was an indication that the university 
community was eager for a change. Up to now the union had 
supported all calls for strikes and disruptions of instruction at 
the university. There is even support to reduce the percentage 
from 40% of student representation in university decisions. There 
is mounting pressure on both major parties from the public for 
substantive reform, and soon. 




6. (C) Primary school reform will be easiest, Babiniotis 
predicted, while high school and university reform will be bigger 
challenges due to political posturing and the politicization of 
students. There needs to be a change in the mindset of the public, 
which views university education as the only vehicle to 
advancement. At the university level, Greece needs to scale back 
on the number of institutions of higher learning - currently 23 
universities and 15 technical schools (TEI) country-wide, according 
to Babiniotis, while the remaining TEIs need to be strengthened to 
meet the needs of the marketplace. A number of TEI need to be 
incorporated into the departments of universities, Babiniotis said; 
those universities, in turn, need more autonomy on decisions 
related to budget, curriculum, enrollment and faculty. 








University Problems: Politicization of Students and Abuse of 
Asylum 




7. (C) University students have become too politicized, 
Babiniotis lamented, a holdover from the days of the military 
dictatorship in Greece. This excessive politicization has caused 
serious disruptions in university operations. Asylum is being 
abused to the point where well-meaning students - the majority - 
suffer in their pursuit of a higher education. While some students 
turn to private education, their degrees are still not recognized 
by the Greek state and, Babiniotis believes, will not be unless 
there is broad political agreement to amend the Greek Constitution 
to formally allow private education. While opposition PASOK leader 
George Papandreou originally supported amending the constitution, 
according to Babiniotis, he later backtracked and the issue of 
private education remains unresolved. 




8. (C) Comment: Babiniotis is a knowledgeable, respected 
academic who knows the Greek educational system well and appears to 
have support from both New Democracy and PASOK. Our meeting with 
him, and his enthusiastic acceptance of our offer of U.S. help on 
university entrance testing, has opened the door to U.S. input and 
expertise on one of the most important reforms in recent Greek 
history. In the coming months, Post will consult with the 
Department on best ways to provide U.S. advice and assistance. 








SPECKHARD 

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