Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou has drafted a proposal to end the practice of making gymnasium pupils repeat a year based on performance assessment.

According to Philenews the proposal has already been sent for legal evaluation on the road to implementation and had already been presented to the secondary education teachers’ union (Oelmek), the technical teachers’ union (Oltek), and organised parent groups.

The proposal aims initially to abolish the practice of requiring the younger gymnasium pupils to repeat a year, with the possibility of extending the move to the older lyceum and technical school students in future.

If the proposal is accepted, underperforming pupils will not be required to repeat the year, though this does not apply if the underperformance is linked to truancy or chronic absenteeism, in other words, if the pupil is found to have exceeded the permitted number of yearly absences granted by the ministry of education.

If the proposal is accepted, re-take exams would also be abolished. The rationale behind this is to free schools from procedures the ministry has deemed unnecessary, such as teachers’ meetings to find ways to grant missing credits to students, thus “saving” them from having to repeat the year and providing pupils with extra support in order for them to succeed with a passing grade in re-take examinations.

According to official sources, the ministry has been intensely troubled during the past two years over the issue of holding back young pupils back due to low performance, reaching the conclusion that the percentage of these pupil is very small, and that the repetition of the year does not seem to be of benefit to anyone.