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A school that builds integrated personalities

I will briefly talk about the role of a modern school in today’s society

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What we need is common rules that hold for everyone in academia either public or private.
What we need is common rules that hold for everyone in academia either public or private.

by George Mavrotas*

I didn’t go to a private school (and my kids also) so I don’t have any close relationship with private schools.
So, allow me to say that I believe in a liberal society where the right to choose about the education of your children is primary. 

And for this reason I don’t understand the obsession against anything private especially in education. An obsession that has no place in a European environment. 

Let me open a parenthesis…

Potami, our party, is also in favor from the very beginning for a constitutional amendment in order not to be prohibited to establish non-state universities in Greece. 
The good state universities in Greece have nothing to fear and I say it as a professor of a public university, the National technical University of Athens (Metsovio Polytechnio) 

Besides, with the relevant regulations the whole fuzzy picture of today’s tertiary education in Greece with colleges, departments, institutes etc will be clarified. 

What we need is common rules that hold for everyone in academia either public or private. 

We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just look to all the other countries of the world…  Closing of this parenthesis. 

I will briefly talk about the role of a modern school in today’s society. 

About the activities that are needed in a school in order to enrich the knowledge, the skills and capabilities of young pupils. 

About the reform that our educational system needs. In Greece the role of school, especially for high schools, the last 30 years has unfortunately suffered from disorientation. 

Its major task has become how to prepare the students for the exams in order to pass to the University, although this task is mainly outsourced to external private tutorials the famous “frontistiria”. However, school should have a different role in today’s societies. 

Its major role is shaping the children’s personality, character and at a secondary level to provide basic knowledge about various subjects. 

We need schools that gradually allow the pupils to see what they like more, to offer a tray with dishes that the student can taste in order to select his/her favorite. 

We need schools that teach pupils and students how to learn and not to learn many things that will be forgotten after the exams. 

We need schools that combine the knowledge from different courses. Interdisciplinarity is the key for new knowledge, for new discoveries. 

We need less load per course, but more interconnection between courses.

We need schools with more degrees of freedom that let the teacher’s creativity blossom. 

On the other hand, the state must have a general overview of the system allowing more flexibility. For this task we need capable people in the administration of education and not just clientism practices

We need good and novel education practices to be disseminated effectively to schools with more or less the same characteristics 

We must always keep in mind that the final output of the school is a student with integrated personality and not a learning machine. We have the computers for this job. 

Especially in today’s world where information is abundant and easily accessible the great challenge is how to use it, how to analyze and how to combine it. 

How to pass from information to knowledge and then to wisdom. How to pass from data to decisions.

And if we talk about integrated personalities we must not forget to promote humanitarial principles like solidarity, social responsibility, volunteerism etc. 

Allow me to close with a few words about sport in education extracted from my experience (I was member of the national water polo team for 17 years and captain for 6 years participating in 5 Olympic Games). 

Sport is a school by itself. There is no better place that you can learn the “no pain, no gain” principle. 

No better place that you can learn meritocracy. 

No better place to learn goal setting, persistence, self-discipline, to fall and rise again. 

No better place to learn to respect the rules and the opponent. 

And especially in team sports no better place to learn teamwork, to put “I” under “WE” in order to achieve a specific goal. 

To learn how each one individually should make a little step back in order all together (the team) to make a big jump ahead.

*George Mavrotas, MP with "To Potami"

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