Mr. Kalemis has been working in the camp as a representative of the Greek Ministry of Education for the last two years. He is responsible for the educational programs for all students from 4 to 14 years old. Sotiris met him in his office, which is actually a container inside the camp, and they discussed the role of education in establishing relationships supportive to integration, the lack of translators in Greek schools, and how education can help eliminate hate speech towards refugees.
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Education itself is an empowering right and one of the most powerful tools by which economically and socially marginalized children and adults can lift themselves out of poverty and participate fully in society. The right to education is a fundamental human right which is respected, protected and promoted by the Greek state. According to European and national law, every child, has the right to education and, most importantly, any refugee child.
In March 2016, the Greek Ministry of Education Research & Religious Affairs took the initiative to prepare a plan for the integration of refugee children into education in order to contribute to their wider social integration. They established three committees for the support of refugee children:
- The Committee for the Support of Refugee Children headed by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Research & Religious Affairs and 14 staff members from the Ministry of Education Research & Religious Affairs.
- The Scientific Committee (SC) consisting of 26 professors and scientific associates from Greek Higher Education Institutions, working closely with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education Research & Religious Affairs.
- The Art Committee (AC) consisting of 9 members who are artists and professors related to the art departments of HE Institutions.
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