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Greece looks to scrap Greek tragedy lessons for gender studies

If the changes get the go-ahead, philologists fear it will be another blow to Classical scholarship, occurring across the globe

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Statues of Apollo and Socrates in the Academy of Athens, Greece.

10 February 2017

The home of classical tragedy, Greece, might soon see classroom time being freed up for gender studies at the cost of Greek tragedy lessons.

The plans have been proposed by the Greek Education Ministry and are currently being considered by the nation's governing party Syriza, reports The Times of London.

If the changes go ahead, texts such as Sophocles' Antigone and historian Thucydides' The History of the Peloponnesian War will be left aside in place of studies surrounding gender equality and sex education.

The Panhellenic Association of Philologists (PEF) however isn't happy with the prospect, issuing a statement to express its opposition to the proposal, which they believe is part of the Ministry's continuous attempts to eliminate ancient Greek entirely from the curriculum.

"This is preposterous. Not even during Greece's gruelling years of dictatorship were the works of ancient masters like Sophocles and Thucydides excluded from high school curriculums," Antonis Mastrapas of the National Federation of Classical Studies Professors told The Times.

It is well known that classical studies have taken a blow in recent years around the globe, with other subject areas gaining momentum, and scholars are worried about the prospect of Greece going down the same road and what it will mean for the discipline.

While Greek students have an advantage in studying ancient texts with their knowledge of the modern language, for others around the world it is increasingly becoming an elite area of study.

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So sad - This is a growing trend worldwide where the focus by media and a few left wing politicians on wiping out our history and the influence of some of the greatest minds in our time. This is not a conspiracy claim, but stating the obvious. By removing important history and religious subjects from the education system , you remove a child's identity, and ability towards their future, decisions and independence. They will, have no chance to make up their own minds by reflecting on the past mistakes and achievements in history. Some private schools still have classic subjects in their curriculum, but this can only benefit the few that can afford it. Education has been designed now to cater for 'feelings' as to knowledge and is starting to dumb our kids down, not provide them with essential life skills like dealing with tough situations, and the foresight to prepare and establish themselves financially. "A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." - Marcus Garvey

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