Corfu School of Tourist Guides students in state of uncertainty
CORFU. The Corfu School of Tourist Guides remains closed and this year΄s students went to the one in Rhodes!
The Corfu School of Tourist Guides students condemn the devaluing attitude of the Ministry of Tourism and the downgrading of their studies.
In a statement they explain the current tragic situation of the Corfu school which remains closed:
Supporting documents in Rhodes School
The students of the Corfu School of Tourist Guides, as well as other schools, are in a state of uncertainty due to the policy of devaluation and degradation followed by the Ministry of Tourism.
The Corfu School remains closed, while the students of the current academic year mailed their supporting documents in the Rhodes School! The devaluating attitude is also evident from the fact that both the school’s Directorate and the Ministry’s responsible department do not even bother to tell the students when the school will open, so that they can plan their lives. And this is happening while there are colleagues who have to settle in Corfu and respectively arrange their family and professional obligations.
The compulsory course attendance and the 60 days of excursions and visits to archaeological sites and museums make the attendance particularly demanding, especially for working students and parents, given that the school is aimed at adults.
As if this was not enough, the Ministry of Tourism with its Joint Ministerial Decision 11413/29-06-2021 established a new timetable by adding classes in the afternoons and Saturdays (!) and, thus, making it difficult for both employed and unemployed the students.
At the same time, basic issues regarding the school’s operation – such as the building, the library’s operation, the school’s staffing with the necessary personnel – have not been resolved. This situation will inevitably lead to an extension of the duration of studies to 3 or more years, causing huge problems to the students and their families.
Students of the Athens School of Tourist Guides are already facing this problem, since they are in their third year of study, because the Ministry of Tourism did not organise the mandatory excursions in time. Instead of taking effective measures to solve the problem created by the Ministry itself, the latter chose to cut the excursions, which are a fundamental element of the training of tour guides, while the students will be asked to cover the shortfall themselves.
Sloppy setting up of Schools of Tourist Guides
The Ministry of Tourism’s responsible officials also have a devaluing attitude towards the students and they are mocking them. Our experience from the first year of the school's operation proves that the Schools of Tourist Guides – which have remained closed for almost 10 years under the responsibility of the Governments – were set up sloppily, which worked against both the students and the school’s quality.
These problems have been repeatedly brought to the attention of those responsible through interventions in the media, the Ministry and the Deputy Minister Mrs. Zacharaki herself. It is obvious that the Government has the resources, the tools and the force to proceed with the required procedures and put an end to this situation. This treatment of the students is directly linked to the image that government policies have created in the tourism industry by violating basic rights, as was evident in the treatment of professional tour guides during the pandemic.
We demand that:
- Courses will start immediately, so that the academic year can be completed on time and students can work.
- Visits and excursions be organised in time.
- The school's housing problem will be solved immediately, so that the school's needs are met.
- Measures will be taken to support working students and mothers.
- Accommodation will be provided to students from other regions given the difficulty of renting a place in Corfu.
- Τhe necessary staff will be recruited.
- The library will operate immediately, it will receive the necessary equipment and staff will be recruited.
- The School of Tourist Guides Regulation will change, and so will the new Ministerial Decision, in order to ensure the rights of students and facilitate employees and parents, instead of basically prohibiting them from attending.
The Corfu School of Tourist Guides Students' Association Board