Universities can and should hold final examinations online, Education Kyriakos Pierrakakis stressed on Thursday, in response to heightened concerns by students and their families that a rash of sit-ins by opponents of a draft bill, which allows the recognition of non-state, non-profit higher education institutes in Greece, will cancel the entire semester.

Protests and sit-ins at several tertiary institutes have taken place this week around Greece, mostly supported by leftwing-affiliated college student groups, educators’ unions but also by self-styled anarchists and anti-state groupings.

Pierrakakis, among the more recognizable members of the Cabinet due to a successful stint as the digital governance minister, officially notified faculty senates that they have the ability to conduct examinations online.

In a relevant memo, he cites specific laws and regulations, adding that sit-ins qualify under the provision of “extraordinary circumstances in higher education facilities, where the physical presence at educational procedures is not feasible in order to conduct student exams.”

As such, he called on administrators and teaching staff to take all appropriate action to test students through online means, while taking care to safeguard students’ personal information and to maintain a tamper-proof process.