Greece: Government’s mercilessness excludes from education its most vulnerable part: the refugee children
Since last year until today, the government has not taken any effective preventive measures in schools to ensure their safe and healthy operation, leading with mathematical precision to their opening and closing according to the evolution of the pandemic, without any substantial scientific intervention, without any organized plan to stop it from spreading.
In this context, of course, there was not the slightest concern for the most vulnerable part of education, which is the refugee children. From the very beginning of the school year, none of the approved Refugee Reception and Education Structures worked, since the necessary staff was not hired. So, for the few, compared to the actual number, of children enrolled in school the bell never rang!
A similar situation exists in the Reception Classes in the morning schools, whose number is much smaller than the needs, they started their operation with a long delay since the issue of the transfer of the students had not been solved, in many cases.
The outrageous thing is that the Ministry of Education, initially set and withdrew, as a prerequisite for enrollment in schools, a certificate from the children themselves that they are not positive in covid -19! At the same time that they have not provided anything for the health and medical care of the refugees, by the appropriate scientific staff. Since the state did not take substantial measures for mass, periodic inspections of the entire population, turning it into individual responsibility, it did exactly the same thing with the refugees!
Then, with the evolution of the pandemic, without any measures to prevent its uncontrolled spread, the schools were closed. The government, then, was celebrating the thousands of digital classrooms that were set up and the thousands of digital hours that came to replace face-to-face learning for students of all levels.
In these digital classes, the refugee children were once again absent, because simply not the slightest help was given to support them, neither technological means, nor connection, as a result of which they did not even enter the digital classroom, to get a digital taste of the process.
Along with the abandonment, the margin, many families, recently moved without any warning from the structures in other areas of mainland Greece, and as a result, the children who had managed to enrol in school, they are excluded from it again!
In one night, they deprived these children of their home once again, they ruined the opportunity for uninterrupted attendance of their lessons, they disturbed their emotional and mental balance and at the same time the schools that had finally taken on staff for the Reception Classes were left without students.
The danger of talking about another lost school year for these children is clear. There are children who have not attended a single day of school this year. There are children who did not even manage to enrol in a school.
At the same time, the government due to “sanitary measures”, many months ago, excluded almost all the refugees living in the camps from Education, as it sets a restriction on leaving the camps, without excluding students.
In practice, even if it does not prohibit the education of refugees, it gives every Mayor or Director of Education the power to deprive these children of access to schools.
This situation is not a result of a natural phenomenon!
We must all realize that the policy pursued by all governments is not just coincidental. The refugee children, but also the immigrant children, the children of the poor popular families, are destined to become the most impoverished, the most poorly paid and without rights part of the future working class. They are already and will become even more, the most vulnerable part of the population for any kind of exploitation.
It is time to claim the schools we deserve! It is time to claim for our children the education they deserve! Refugee children, immigrant children, children of poor families are not second class citizens! We must intensify our struggle against imperialist wars and refugees.
– Immediately stop the “hostage situation” of our students.
– Stop the constant movement of refugees from camp to camp.
– Enrol all school-age refugees in public schools in order to ensure access for all as long as they remain in our country. To ensure the effective access and participation of students in school.
– Ensure the staffing of all public schools with Reception Classes teachers, translators, psychologists.
– Write appropriate school textbooks, based on the values and principles of intercultural education, for the needs of foreign language students, immigrants and refugees.
– Human living conditions with the necessary medical staff, and the acceleration of procedures, so that they can go to the countries they want, while for those who remain, we should ensure their social, economic, work integration.
The struggle of teachers to have all children education, play, joy is the most important, because for each of us:
“This is our life
this big one, nothing else”