Over the past month I was fortunate enough to participate in a number of extremely productive meetings involving the current state, as well as the future of the Greek language in Victoria. They certainly uplifted my spirits and gave me some much needed hope that all is not lost…
On the 25th of April, together with Anita Kolaitis and Stephie Nikouloudis, as representatives of the Pharos working party, we put forward our strategic plan to the Victorian Minister of Education Natalie Hutchens and her advisors. It was encouraging to see that the Minister was well briefed on the matter and was supportive of what we had to say. Even more encouraging was the fact that she was receptive to the goals of the strategic plan and wanted to keep the channels of communication open and continuing in the future.
Additionally, on the 8th of May, I was part of a Zoom conference discussing the bilingual Greek program at Lalor North Primary School; the only one of his its kind, not only in Victoria, but the whole of Australia! Passionate parents, passionate teachers and a supportive, understanding principal is what makes this program even more exemplary. It was great to hear that numbers are up for next year. And why shouldn’t they be? Where else would primary school aged children have the opportunity to be immersed in both languages on a daily basis in a properly structured educational environment?
On the same day, a group that included past and current parents of Coburg West Primary School met with the local State MP of Pascoe Vale, Anthony Cianflone to discuss matters pertaining to the Greek program at Coburg West Primary School. Again, it was heartening to see Anthony taking their concerns seriously as he listened with great interest to their argument that a program which has nearly 100 children and six classes cannot be conducted to a satisfactory level in only one day a week. Let’s hope next year it returns to its previous 2 day status, thus allowing the teacher the opportunity to expand on the delivery of the high quality program to the Coburg West students.
And last but not least, it was good to see the passion expressed by teachers when discussing the Greek language curriculum and particularly the contents of the 2022 VCE Modern Greek written exam, during a zoom meeting of Pharos members on the 9th of May ,lasting well beyond 2 hours on a cold Melbourne night !!.
The commitment shown by both the stalwarts, such as Maria and Eva, but also by the young guns, such as Despina and Anita was exemplary.
I’m proud to be part of this group. They are on the right track. And one cannot help but notice that the overwhelming majority of the group are women .. As the song goes, ” Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves”.
Η ελπίδα πεθαίνει τελευταία!