The World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association has added its voice to the many being raised in support of the inclusion of Modern Greek in the national curriculum.
The Association has sent a letter signed by association president, Victorian Labour MP John Pandazopoulos (foto) and WHIA regional representative, NSW National Party MP George Souris, to the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard.
The letter reads:
“We write to you in regards to the ACARA review of National language education and the importance of Greek language education as part of this review.
The WHIA represents MP’s and retired Members of Hellenic heritage and has members in 27 countries and 72 legislatures including Australia. Our members come from a diverse range of political perspectives and one thing that unites us all is the importance of the Greek language as both an academic as well as a community language.
We recognise that Greek is the 5th most spoken language in Australia and the 7th most taught language in Australian schools. It is the most taught language in Australian after hours ethnic schools.
Of most importance to us is its importance as an academic language. So much global thought and western civilisation has been influenced not only by Hellenic culture but also the language.
As you are aware many thousands of words that we use in the English language as well as other languages originate from the original Greek. Many important texts that influence us originally appeared in Greek and are now in daily use around the world.
We strongly believe that the learning of Greek strengthens learning in so many other fields of education.
These include maths, science, engineering, history, philosophy, law, drama, art and the English language as well to list a few.
This is why we strongly believe that Greek should be included as one of the 8 national languages as part of this curriculum review. We recognise that Greek has been listed as one of the priority languages in past reviews.
We strongly commend this co-ordinated effort for stronger language education in Australia that truly highlights us as a multicultural nation. The speaking of Languages other than English should not just be left to immigrant families and their children but should be a part of mainstream education.
We ask you to actively support the inclusion of Greek as part of this national review and thank you for the work that you already do in your support of our Greek-Australian community”.
The World Hellenic Inter-Parliamentary Association represents hundreds of current and retired politicians of Greek descent.
(source: neos kosmos)