Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘language lessons’

A call by Athens Elementary School teachers in support of colleagues prosecuted for providing immigrant pupils with lessons of their parents’ language

Posted by clandestina on 18 January 2010

SEE PREVIOUS POST: Teachers prosecuted for providing immigrant pupils with lessons of their parents’ language

A call by the teachers of the 132nd Athens Elementary School
At a time when achieving harmonious conviviality between the children of Greeks and immigrants poses a serious challenge for the Greek society, and has been commanded by the Greek state, Stella Protonotariou, former director of the 132nd Elementary School Athens will face on January 22, 2010 trial at the criminal court of Athens  on charges that she conceded premises of the school for the teaching of the mother tongue to pupils who speak that other languages.  Along with her will be faced with charges the teacher that taught  to schoolchildren their native language.   Mr Gioutlakis, the present director of the 132nd Primary School will be the witness for the prosecution.

We, the teachers of the school, who decided together with the former director the educational interventions implemented in the 132nd Elementary School, we invite all of you and all who fight every day for a better education, to attend the trial court at that day, to confirm with our presence not only that  Stella Protonotariou has our full support, but also our willingness to fight for a fairer world and a school that includes  all our pupils on equal terms.

It is worth noting that on the basis of a second report filed by the same witness, a preliminary examination by the police has been conducted on Stella Protonotariou for alleged misconduct, because along with the teaching of the Albanian mother tongue she also ran along with us Greek lessons to immigrant parents.

Teachers who work or have worked at the 132nd Athens Elementary School


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Teachers prosecuted for providing immigrant pupils with lessons of their parents’ language

Posted by clandestina on 15 June 2009

The ex – head – teacher and a teacher of albanian language of the 132nd primary school of Athens will be brought to court tomorrow for providing the immigrant pupils with the opportunity to learn Albanian – their parents’ and at cases firts language language – in the afternoon, when the shcool is not officially operating.   At this school immigrant children had the opportunity to learn Arabic and Albanian, while in the afternoon their parents were offered lessons of Greek. At the same school “an experiment took place of replacing the Morning Prayer by a poem written by Yiannis Ritsos”.

source: Network of Social Support to Immigrants and Refugees article at Athens Indymedia. Read there about calls to action, tomorrow at Athens Courts (at the second building of Evelpidon courts).

Read below about this case’s past (source:

We requested a review from Stella Protonotariou, Headteacher to November 2007 of the 132 Athens Elementary School where an experiment took place of replacing the Morning Prayer by a poem written by Yiannis Ritsos.

“Many pupils of other non Orthodox faiths attend today’s Greek modern schools which are now multicultural.

According to the presidential Decree 200/98 the pupils who enter the school prior to the Morning Prayer are obliged to attend the assembly area with their Year Group even if they do not pray, respecting their peers who are praying.

Often this is not adhered to as the children when in school at the time of the prayer they want to be part of the team and participate in the first collective activity of the school day.

The children do not wish to feel excluded, odd looking and talked about.

Many a time Muslim pupils took to the microphone and recited “Our Father in Heaven…”

“Why should I not say myself a prayer? Am I not like all the other children? “asked once a pupil of Year 3 and at another time a pupil of Year 5, a Catholic girl, told her teacher that she felt that the other pupils stared at her strangely and made comments on the way she does the sign of the cross.

Parents of children of the non orthodox faith have often requested for their children to participate in the Morning Prayer but without making the sign of the cross.

They themselves were aware that their children were participating anyway.

If discussions were taking place at home the children would react strongly.

Some of the parents opposed as they felt that we as teachers had no respect for their religious beliefs.

It is therefore necessary to find a way such as not to deprive our children from participating in the morning prayer and of course in any other school activity.

I consider their exclusion from the prayer to be an error as well as a violation of their right and is in conflict with the Convention Rights of children a subject taught in school and an official part of the Curriculum.

132nd School after a lot of thought and discussion replaced ” Our Father in Haven….” With the following poem-prayer ”The Morning Star” by Yiannis Ritsos:

“Oh Dear God, we are wellMake, oh Dear god, that the children have a Creek of milk, Plenty of Stars, Plenty of SongsMake oh Dear God all to be well”

The lyrics have been chosen as not to be in conflict with the “original elements of orthodoxy” as required by law , do not offend any other faith, they are simple to understand and make allowances for the other faiths children to pray.

However the local parish objected.

When the Headmistress of the specific school asked them for a common solution, they refused to discuss.

Cont ..: Mrs Protonotariou failed the selection process and her replacement reinstated the “Our Father in Heaven..”.

In the uproar that followed(E has always taken an interest with several reports of “IOU” Mr A Lykourentzos Deputy Minister of Education intervened stating along other comments in NET that he is in the position that he is in, in order  to protect ” The Laws of the country” and the ” Greek tradition”.

The Defending Council for Children requested further explanation but they received no reply.

This is what 3 of our commentators in the experiment of 132nd School say:

H Frangopoulos: “The free mixing of different religious beliefs and the comparison of those leads to one distancing himself from Any Religion.

Especially when we are talking about Yiannis Ritsos who was a Marxist and he had no Belief in any religion.”

A Kariotoglou: “It was wonderful to see what they did and bravo to those who took the initiative”.

K Bey: “It was so good….as for the result of this experiment, it can only happen in Greece where there is darkness and intolerance”.

On the light of the position of Mr. Kariotoglou we asked him to pass on the relevant questions to Archbishop Ieronymos. However we received no response.

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Afghan adolescents hunger-strike for better conditions at Konitsa, Epirus care center

Posted by clandestina on 15 May 2009

This is a rough translation of a  Rizospastis article.



Αround 30 teenagers from Afghanistan, aged 15 to 18 years, who have been residing for approximately 6 months at the « Childhood Care Center » in Konitsa, Prefecture of Ioannina, have began since two days a hunger strike, demanding better living conditions.  The Afghan adolescents, who are victims of imperialist wars and the stealing of the national wealth of their country met Members of the Greek Communist Party and in “broken” Greek and English described their problems with food and sleep.

Moreover, for 6 months now, they do not know what to do, how to creatively and constructively spend their time, where to channel their energy. «We do not even have a football », they said. The only enjoyment available is television, while it is not uncommon 6 and 7 people to be squeezed in one single room. Their prime request is to learn English, the teaching of which is only one hour per week, causing them serious problems in their communication with their social environment.

The hunger-strikers also want to be assisted financially , since they are not given even this modest allowance of 1.3 euros per day foresenn. The concern and uncertainty about their fate is also evident, since the overwhelming majority of applications for political asylum are rejected. Together with the fact that the economic resources of the children and their families have been wiped out because of the war in their homeland, all these factors call for substantial public attention and concern.

Their thirst for knowledge, their right to comprehensive education and a better life cannot be met with a few hours of woodwork and silver-jewelry workshops . This is the reality, despite the fact that, as the president of the Institution said, there is a total of 16 employees and 3 “STAGE”[EU funded employment program] working there, under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, which through the European Refugee Fund has been channeling funds for the operation of such structures with the participation of Non-Governmental Organizations as well.



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