A coordinated effort on behalf of parents of Strathmore Secondary students, community organisations and politicians of Greek heritage has seen this week the Greek language VCE classes’ reinstatement to the College.

Earlier this month the school management had decided that due to the small number of VCE students it was unfeasible for the school to offer the Greek VCE classes in 2019, encouraging those students who chose to study the subject to seek alternative solutions outside the school to do so.

The decision angered the parents of those students who immediately expressed their disappointment to the principal of the school and sought the help of the Greek Community of Melbourne, federal politician Maria Vamvakinou, state Minister Jenny Mikakos as well as state Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos, to intervene in order to persuade the management of the school to reverse its decision.

The principal of Starthmore Secondary Jillian English put forward the point that the introduction of a combined class for Year 11 & 12 Greek language students will not benefit the students and will be an impediment to their performance.

After the intervention of Greek Community of Melbourne Vice President, Theo Markos, a meeting between himself, Ms English and a Victorian Department of Education official was organised during which the principal was convinced that combined VCE classes are a common occurrence for subjects with low attendance numbers and the stalemate was resolved, with the principal deciding the reinstatement of the Greek language VCE classes.

“We are pleased to have found a workable solution to deliver VCE Modern Greek at Strathmore Secondary College in 2019. We determine our College’s teaching and learning program through careful, balanced and objective consideration of multiple factors that put the needs of students at its heart. Thank you for your understanding” stated the principal after the latest developments.

It should be noted that Neos Kosmos understands that the VCE classes at Strathmore will be attended, roughly, by about 10 Year 11& 12 students, while Year 7 Greek language classes will be bustling in 2019 hosting around 70 new students. Taking that into consideration Greek language VCE classes can avoid being axed in the years to come as long as there is a concerted effort on behalf of parents to encourage their children to take the subject at VCE level.

In the meantime another Greek language program, the one at West Coburg Primary is facing an uncertain future next year as the principal Mark Cologrande during a meeting with parents and Theo Markos informed them that from the beginning of 2019 he will initiate a consultation process which will involve all relevant stakeholders including representatives from the Greek community and especially those who reside in the school zone. The outcome of the consultation process will inform the review of the continuation of the Greek language program which will follow.