Teachers in Greece have criticised plans by the left-wing government to scrap the mandatory study of Ancient Greek tragedy in high schools and introduce instead classes on gender and sex education, saying that this could bring about the end of classical studies.

The plan to drop Antigone by Sophocles comes after Pericles’ Funeral Oration from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, was removed.

The government says it is trying to update the antiquated curriculum and devote more time to teaching modern Greek and new subjects, including gender equality, same-sex marriages and sex education.

“This is preposterous,” Antonis Mastrapas, of the National Federation of Classical Studies Professors, said. “Not even during Greece’s gruelling years of dictatorship were the works of ancient masters like Sophocles and Thucydides…

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