Think Greek to solve recruitment

15th August 2003 at 01:00
AS a British subject who has lived and worked for the past 25 years in Greece, I am continually amazed at the seeming lack of communication and co-operation between two countries that are supposedly members of a common union.

I am alluding to the chronic shortage of teachers in the UK, upon which much ink has been spent, and the equally chronic surplus of English-speaking teachers in Greece.

It seems absurd to me that in these days of free mobility of workers between EU member states, and given that under the Council Directive 8948EEC any EU nationals who are recognised as qualified teachers in their home state are automatically recognised as such in Britain, that there can be such a breakdown in communication.

Greece has a long and well respected reputation for its high level of education, especially in the areas of maths and sciences. This is especially noticeable in those Greek students who come to Britain to study at university level. Their knowledge of these subjects at the age of 18 is equivalent to the first year of university study in Britain.

Surely, therefore, a golden opportunity exists for both countries and also for the British schoolchildren who would undoubtedly benefit from this type of close contact with teachers from such a rich culture.

It therefore begs the question, where does the problem lie? Is it that there is no viable recruitment link between the two countries either at a private or public level? Is it simply that the above-mentioned qualified teacher surplus in Greece has gone unnoticed? Or is there reluctance on the part of British schools to employ these excellent educators?

Susan Sakali Agia Eleni Kato Korakiana Corfu 49 083, Greece

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