Modern Greek looks set to return to the Languages Other Than English (LOTE) program at Wales Street Primary School next year, with initial results from a parent survey showing around 70 per cent support.

This is a victory not just for the Greek community but for languages in Victoria.

Last week, parents were asked whether they wanted the school to return to offering Modern Greek, Italian and Mandarin, as it did prior to 2009, or continue offering only Italian.

Parent advocate, Angelo Dritsas, told Neos Kosmos he had spoken to education consultant Howard Kelly, who was contracted to create the survey by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Mr Dritsas said that, of the 160 surveys returned, 107 favoured the return of Modern Greek.

“Every indication from Howard Kelly and others was that they’re willing to work with us to see the return of a three-language program in the new year,” he said.

“I can’t see anything that could hold it up at this time.”

Previous surveys, conducted by the school council, have shown support for the Italian only LOTE program.

Mr Dritsas stressed that the campaign had been long, and thanked local politicians Fiona Richardson and Jenny Mikakos, former Education Minister Bronwyn Pike, and the Greek Orthodox Commuinty of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV).
GOCMV Board Member Theo Markos said the result reflects the will of the school population.

“This is a victory not just for the Greek community but for languages in Victoria,” Mr Markos said.

“This is a win for multiculturalism.”

Both Mr Markos and Mr Dritsas said they were hopeful an appropriate teacher could be found, although they stressed they wouldn’t interfere in the school’s appointment.

Wales Street Primary School principal, Chris Sexton, said he was not prepared to comment on the initial results, adding that he was meeting with Mr Kelly next week to discuss his recommendation.