Educators, university and high school students gathered in downtown Athens on Thursday protesting against the Greek government’s bill which would allow the establishment of private universities in the country.

Traffic was diverted due to the demonstrations as police interrupted vehicle movement on roads leading to Syntagma Square in front of Parliament and surrounding routes.

Both the primary and secondary teachers’ unions in Greece, who said they were in favor of “public education”, decided to implement stoppages allowing their members to participate in the demonstrations.

The ongoing protests, including student sit-ins and occupations in more than one-third of universities across the country – around 150 University departments from a total of 433- have disrupted mid-term exams.

To address the problems faced by students, on Monday, a council of rectors comprised of Greece’s higher education institutions announced that end-of-the-semester exams would be held online for faculties not operating due to “sit-ins” by student groups.

The decision came as dozens of university departments, mostly in the greater Athens area, reported an inability to hold lectures, and by extension pending exams.

Greece is one of the few EU member states that does not have private universities. Some scuffles between police and protesters were reported during the march.