2,500 refugee children attend schools in Greece

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 17, 2017 09:40 hrs

Athens, Feb 17 (IANS) Nearly 2,500 refugee children are currently attending public schools in Greece, Greek Minister of Education Costas Gavroglou said.

A programme making schooling available to refugee children stranded in Greece was introduced by the Greek government last October, Xinhua news agency reported.

As most of the refugee children have never attended schools or have been out of education for more than two years, the plan aims to help the kids integrate into the local society.

According to the latest figures, Greek officials have set up 126 classes in 94 schools with 274 teachers have been hired to meet the needs of the 12 million-euro programme which is co-funded by the European Union.

Despite sporadic protests and objections raised mostly by the far-right, Gavroglou on Thursday reassured that the government will not step back on the matter of refugee children's education, according to Greek national news agency AMNA.

Under the government's plan, at least 10,000 children will attend classes in 150 schools all over Greece. The minister, however, admitted delays, but pledged to step up efforts to admit more refugee children at Greek schools in coming months.

In addition to the Greek government's efforts, many NGOs in Greece run non-formal educational programs to help refugee children integrate into the official national education system.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) along with the NGO "Save the Children" inaugurated an educational space for refugee and migrant children in the Greek island of Leros.

--IANS

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