European countries are obliged by several international legal provisions to provide accessible, acceptable and adaptable education to all children. A recent report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe stresses the urgent need to give priority to provide inclusive and effective educational programmes as well as the infrastructure and teaching resources to support them.
Given the vast number of refuges arriving in Greece, there are many challenges related to provide education to all in accordance with international legal obligations . Furthermore, the financial and social crisis still affecting Greek society as a whole is also greatly affecting the education system. For the school year 2018-2019 approximately 8000 refugee children enrolled in Greek schools.
In partnership with the Hellenic Ministry of Education, EWC has developed a capacity building programme for school leaders and teachers on democratic governance, culture and practice based on the principles of education for democratic citizenship and human rights. The programme will start in 2019. This year's edition of the Greek Summer Academy was used to pilot approaches and methodology with teams of school leaders, teachers and parents in 7 primary schools who had refugees as students both in introductory and mainstream classes.
Through a variety of interactive sessions, the school teams worked on topics like democratic competence, communication, controversial issues, and democratic culture at school. At the end of the 5-day training, they developed action plans to implement in their schools. Six out of seven schools chose to design an action plan to address issues of conflict resolution, involving the whole school community in approaches to deal with difficult and controversial situations that arise in schools.