GreekReporter.com Greek News Education Volunteer Teachers: Giving Migrant Schoolchildren in Greek Camp a Chance at Education

Volunteer Teachers: Giving Migrant Schoolchildren in Greek Camp a Chance at Education

refugee children classroomGreece is preparing to educate around 8,500 refugee children starting this September.
The program that is set to start in September will include classes to integrate the refugee students in the camps or at public facilities before sending them into proper schools.
The children have missed out on much schooling, not only after their arrival to Greece and since they have been at the camps, but also for months and sometimes years in their home country where war has made it impossible to seek an education.
Children are notably far behind in their curriculum, and cannot afford to take a summer break from the lessons being taught by a total of around 20 refugees and volunteers who have set up classrooms at the Skaramangas camp in a suburbs of Athens.
The 20 instructors are made up of a variety of backgrounds such as volunteer teachers from Syria, an engineer and a university student.
“We have children who are eight to 10 years old who don’t even know how to hold a pen or write their name in their language,” Syrian Luaay Koman Al Babille, a former student of palaeography in Aleppo, who initiated the education efforts at the camp told AFP.
The lessons are underway in classrooms set up in shipping containers and each child of the 670 students that are aged between six and 13-years-old receives about two hours of classes per week.
The students are receiving lessons in many subjects including English and math, as well as lessons in their native languages of Arabic, Dari and Kurdish.
The task at hand of the volunteer educators is a tall one, as around half of the refugees in the camp are children under the age of 17 who are Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi Kurd.
“We have children who are eight to ten years old who don’t even know how to hold a pen or write their name in their language,” says Syrian Luaay Koman Al Babille, a former student of palaeography in Aleppo, who initiated the education efforts at the camp.
According to the NGO Save the Children the refugee children represent a risk of a lost generation as they are stuck in camps in Greece and on average have not been in school for a year and a half. What’s more alarming is that more that one fifth of school-age refugee children have never even had the opportunity to go to school and have never stepped foot in a classroom.
Education for refugee children is extremely important as it gives them a form of escapism as well as a chance to better their lives. Perhaps Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousefzai said it best when she simply stated: “One child. One teacher. One book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution.”
Now thanks to a group of 20 volunteers, 650 children will at least have a chance at an education that otherwise would not have been accessible.


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