The Greek community needs to act immediately on developing the teaching of Modern Greek and attracting more students and teachers to the language, according to Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne & Victoria (GOCMV) Greek Schools President John Milides.

While the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has included Greek in the 11 languages selected as part of the national curriculum, it will not be promoted for a number of years.

“First the four Asian languages will be promoted for a few years, then French, German, Spanish and Arabic will be promoted, then in the following three years Greek and Vietnamese will be promoted,” Mr Milides said, adding, “it will take a long time, we can’t sit idle and wait for our turn; we have to energise the community”.

Mr Milides believes the community is responsible for stimulating interest in today’s high school and university students. “We can’t just leave it to the parents, we have to develop strategies and human resources,” he said.

“With the new initiative in the Greek community we want to promote new ideas without ignoring the past. One of the new ideas is that we are part of the problem if we don’t develop our human resources”.

Teachers of Modern Greek in Victoria, along with parents of students learning the language, are invited to a forum highlighting important information about the Australian Curriculum for languages this Tuesday.

The GOCMV, the Modern Greek Teachers Association of Melbourne and Victoria with the support of the Education Consul for the Hellenic Republic Charalampos Ladopoulos will hold the forum at the Greek Community Centre, Level 3, 168 Lonsdale St Melbourne, from 7pm on Tuesday May 3, to discuss issues of importance concerning language teachers, schools and students.

As part of the discussion teachers and parents will be informed of the recommendations made to the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and to ACARA by the Modern Greek Teachers Association of Melbourne and Victoria, and the Education Committee of the GOCMV. At the end of the forum attendees will be given an opportunity to ask questions in relation to the direction and the need for the learning of Greek in Australia.

“We want teachers to know what we’ve proposed to the departments, we want teachers to know policies we propose should change and we want them to be part of the process of developing policies for the future regarding survival of Modern Greek,” Mr Milides said. Subsequent forums will follow, with the next one scheduled for May 22, from 1pm. This forum will be held at Alphington Grammar in Melbourne’s Eastern suburbs.

“We’re inviting all teachers of Greek, and teachers who have come from Greece, to come and get to know each other,” Mr Milides said.