Refugee children's first day at Greek schools

'We believe education is an inalienable right for every child -- regardless of their origin,' says one Greek parent

Refugee children's first day at Greek schools

World Bulletin / News Desk

Armed with big smiles and eyes that screamed excitement, refugee children carrying colorful backpacks attended Greek schools for the first time on Monday.

About 1,500 children began their schooling amid mostly positive reactions from local communities and the Greek government, officials said.

However, some Greek parents remain against the move, officials added.

Myrto Anastasopoulou, a member of the parents’ association of the 72nd Primary School of Athens -- one of the institutions which will host refugee children -- spoke to AA.

“We believe education is an inalienable right for every child -- regardless of their origin,” she said.

The youngsters will start classes at 2 p.m. every day after the Greek pupils have finished. They will receive language tuition among other subjects.

“We are completely against the xenophobic decisions of some other parents’ associations [from different schools] that stand against refugee children being taught in Greek schools,” Anastasopoulou added.

Although some parents from the 72nd were also against the program, Anastasopoulou believes this can be resolved through dialogue: “[Some parents] have questions and objections, but we will have a meeting and address these issues in order to answer all of their questions and resolve the problem.”

Last week, Education Minister Nikos Filis announced the schooling program for refugee children would start with six refugee and migrant camps and 20 public schools participating.

The program will be expanded to include further schools as more refugee children receive vaccinations to ensure the safety of other pupils being taught at the same premises, according to the minister.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 10 Ekim 2016, 18:01