Recently, a bill was presented to the cabinet, which the ND government is going to bring to a vote, and it concerns the absorption of the DIPAE departments in Kavala, Drama and Didymoteicho by the IPTH, with the parallel establishment of new departments of Psychology in Didymoteicho and Occupational Therapy in Komotini.
It is unacceptable that those directly interested in the planned changes, the academic community of the specific departments and schools, do not have any official information about changes that are going to affect their lives, work, everyday life, studies. On the contrary, for a bill that is apparently ready and they intend to proceed very immediately, we are informed by vague posts of government officials or “leaks” in news media.
But mainly we express our concern, because we have had negative experience from the various restructurings and changes in the “academic map” of our country, which each time made students and workers guinea pigs in their plans.
Each change “promised” an upgrade of studies and degrees and finally brought a new downgrade, such as all the departments that joined DIPAE as “universityized” and now say they will transfer to DFTH. For these sections, will they answer us if they will be professionally registered? Why are they “in the air” for 6 years now? Why aren’t they even “matched” to similar segments and not translatable?
Will the schools and departments be staffed based on the needs of the educational process, with permanent teachers, with modern infrastructures, with modern logistical equipment?
There will be full coverage of all needs in student care (books, free meals, fuel for the stoves, free transport that was cut for the DFTH since last year), in the huge problem of student housing with the construction of new stoves to cover all students who have it need, (the current hostels are in a miserable condition due to the lack of maintenance and their rooms are not enough for even 10% of the students), with the sole responsibility of the state?
All governments have contributed to the shrinking of state funding to the IFT (10 million in 2012, just 4.6 for 2023) and respectively to the DIPAE, which has led the departments to marginal operation, with cuts in care, teachers, security and cleaning staff, administrative staff and technical services. For all this, of course, the local parliamentarians, governmental and non-governmental, “swallow their tongues”!
The concern of students, employees and professors of DIPAE departments is justified. However, any concern, opposition and reaction cannot have a result for the benefit of the students and the entire academic community, when its starting point is the defense of “economic development”, the “economic profile of the city where the Department is located” and admittedly that “in the current phase of dynamic development of DIPAE there is NO problem that needs solving”!!! Unless the problems of the students are not counted as such, only this year they forced their clubs to intervene in competition for the state of the residences, for transport and feeding. But also for the same problems and shortages in teachers and the maintenance of buildings and other infrastructure, which brought the students to the streets both in Kavala (DIPAE) and in Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupolis (DPTH) on November 6.
Today there are all the conditions for a real upgrade of universities, for free high-level modern studies and degrees with value, with infrastructures that meet the 21st century, staffed with teachers based on needs, for student welfare services that will support students to study without obstacles.
The only thing that is certain is that the priorities of this government in the Universities are not the needs of the students and the workers in them, precisely because their goal is to follow the EU policy to the letter for further privatization, commercial operation and embracing of AU universities even tighter with the “wants” of the groups, the needs of NATO. That’s why, whether the specific departments join the DPTH or remain in the DIPAE, the underfunding, understaffing and commercialization of services will remain.
The KKE has a clear and firm position for public and free education, with generous state funding. Covering all student care needs from the state budget. To cover and secure all jobs in administrative and educational staff. For degrees with value and work with rights. And in this direction he claims, monitors the developments and calls the people of the region, the youth, to vigilance. It supports the mobilizations in a number of student associations since the beginning of the year for food, accommodation, transport for students in public and free of charge.
OF EASTERN MACEDONIA AND THRACIA of the KKE