Presentation of the “Schools for All: Inclusion of refugee children in Greek schools” at the 11th Gymnasium of Nikaia “Yannis Ritsos”

Press Release by the 11th Gymnasium of Nikaia ‘Yannis Ritsos’: on Thursday, May 26, 2022, the presentation of the “Schools for All: Inclusion of refugee children in Greek schools”, as part of the event “School meets Society”.

The “Olive Tree of Diversity” is the name of the Action Plan that the school implemented in the framework of the “Schools for All” Programme, aiming to create an open, democratic and inclusive school for refugee children. On the day of the event, “The Olive Tree οf Diversity” ‘grew in the school yard with the ‘fruits’ of students’ artworks, created with the inspiration of a poem by a refugee student in Farsi on the theme of friendship, in the context of one of the school’s activities. Students from the school, Greeks, refugees and immigrants, as well as students from the 3rd Gymnasium of Nea Filadelfia participated in this activity. Before the start of the event, groups of students were waiting for the guests at the entrance to explain how they worked together to create this “Diversity Tree”.

Then, the inclusion activities implemented in the framework of the “Schools for All” Programme were presented:C reation of a “cooperation group”, consisting of Greek, foreign and refugee students, with the aim of supporting refugee students with their classmates, both in class and in school activities. Informing refugee students with texts translated into their mother tongue, such as the school’s rules of procedure. Teaching of the Greek language using material translated into their language, transcription of the timetable and the canteen catalogue in the languages of the refugees, as the use of the mother tongue has a significant impact on the integration of refugee pupils and their school performance. The school’s pupils are informed and discuss human rights, and their thoughts and feelings are captured in collages with written text, sketches and photos. Completion of a questionnaire by pupils of the school on awareness of cultural diversity with the aim of pupils understanding their prejudices and how the way they approach diversity can affect school life. Getting to know their refugee classmates through a presentation of their way of life and education in their country. Watching short films on diversity, discussing diversity in the school environment, expressing emotions, pupils’ suggestions for reducing incidents of discrimination in the school environment. Networking with the 3rd Gymnasium of Nikaia on 21 March, International Day against Racism, in order to raise awareness among the pupils of this school on the inclusion of refugee children. Through these activities, refugee students became a living part of the school, proving that refugee students can not only integrate into school life by overcoming language difficulties, but also contribute to school life.

The presentation of the activities included a play written and performed by the pupils themselves, as well as with the participation of refugee and migrant pupils. Parents, pupils, teachers, representatives of the wider educational community and the local community left full of emotion. It was an afternoon full of people, an afternoon full of emotion at the 11th Gymnasium of Nice “Yannis Ritsos”.

The event was honored with the presence of the Director of Secondary Education of Piraeus Mr. Maragozoglou Thrasybulos, the Deputy Mayor of Education of the Municipality of Nice – Agios Ioannis Rentis Mr. Maria Aravantinou, the Head of Environmental Programmes of the Secondary Education Directorate of Piraeus, Mrs. Sourmbi Alexandra, the Director of the 1st Lyceumof Korydallos, Mr. Mr. Mitranas Georgios and Avramidis Georgios, the Director and Deputy Director of the 3rd Gymnasiumof Nea Philadelphia Mr. Koutsis Elias and Seitis George, the representative of the NGO “Synyparksis” Mr. Konstantinos Giourlias, the President of the Parents and Guardians Association of the 11th Gymnasium of Nikaia, Mr. Panagiotis Katifes, as well as members of the Board of Directors of the Parents Association.



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