The Australian Hellenic Council is meeting the Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard to press for the inclusion of of Modern Greek in the National Curriculum.
The battle to save Modern Greek will move to Canberra today, when a delegation of members from the Australian Hellenic Council (AHC) meets with Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard.
Delegates from various Greek-Australian organizations, including the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria, will make the case for Greek to be included in the new National Curriculum.
Leading the delegation is AHC National Coordinator Patricia Drivas.
She says there are many arguments for the inclusion of Modern Greek. “The arguments are that it is a core language, that it is a community language, that it’s a language that stands on its own. It’s a language that already exists within the system, therefore what we would like is a continuation of that,” she says.
The mission however, is a difficult one. During the reconstitution of the curriculum the number of languages that will be taught in government schools has been slashed from twelve to eight.
Half of the languages are Asian, leaving space for only four European languages. At this point, the four European languages selected are German, French, Spanish and Italian.
“Spanish is not a strange choice. It sounds like it is, but it’s not,” Drivas says, explaining that it is the most widely spoken European language outside of Europe. Italian, she says, is included due to, “the Catholic influence”. “German is there because of trade and their economy, they’re the strongest economic force in Europe at the moment,” she says.
“French, well, because it’s French and it’s taught worldwide.” Consequently, Ms Drivas is under no illusions that edging out one of these powerhouse languages is an easy task, which is why the AHC is also lobbying for the number of languages to be extended from eight, back to at least ten.
“It’s a hard slog,” she says. “It’s tough. It’s not in the bag. We’re quietly confident that we’re moving towards all the right directions, we’re doing all the right things, we’re knocking on the right doors.”
To do your bit to ensure that Modern Greek is admitted into the National Curriculum, sign the petition in today’s Neos Kosmos and post it in.
The first round of signatures will be presented to Federal Parliament in the coming weeks.
(source: neos kosmos)