Education on refugees gathers pace in Greek schools

Greece arm of UNHCR providing more materials for teachers

20 September, 13:53

    ATHENS - Greece continues to be at the front line of the European refugee crisis, and the country's efforts to educate local children in schools are continuing with great results - thanks to a little help from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).


    The Greek authorities, alongside various humanitarian agencies and local NGOs, have worked tirelessly to integrate migrant children into their education systems, and the country has received widespread praise for their efforts.

    More than 8,000 students were enrolled in classes in Greece in the last academic year, and this year's number is expected to top 10,000.

    Now, more than ever, teachers are faced with new challenges in trying to understand and explain to their students the refugee phenomenon, as well as making sure the new migrants students are integrated smoothly.

    And as part of their efforts, the UNHCR has created a series of educational materials on asylum, immigration and statelessness, which are available free of charge in both Greek and English for teachers to use. The materials include animated videos, discussion sheets and activities for all age levels, from 6-18-year-olds.

    A STEP FURTHER IN THE NAME OF SOLIDARITY In addition to the educational materials, the UNHCR's delegation in Greece will also contribute heavily in the current academic year to the long-term mission of raising the awareness of the new generation of refugees through educational activities and various cultural exchange programs in cooperation with state educational institutions.

    Among these efforts are the highly successful Pan-Hellenic Student Refugee Competition, which will be held for the 23rd consecutive year.

    In last year's competition, more than 100 Greek and migrant students won awards in the special national contest for schools in Greece organised on the issue of refugees in the country.

    The contest, entitled "A home away from home", featured more than 2,000 students, including refugees, with children in 140 primary and secondary schools, evening schools, schools for children with disabilities and reception classes for refugee children, working together or individually on texts, posters, comics, sketches and logos.

    In addition to the annual contest, in collaboration with the Pan-Hellenic Network for Theater in Education, the Human Rights Program "What if it was You?" is also continuing this year. This cultural exchange program involves over 8,000 teachers and 19,000 students through workshops, training seminars, student festivals and community-based initiatives.

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