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  • ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHERS OF LARISSA

    TO: Mr John Kittmer, UK Ambassador to Greece British Embassy, Athens Fax: 210 7272734 FROM: The State School English Teachers Associations of Larissa and Trikala, Thessaly CONTACT DETAILS: Maria Samara and Christine Furness-Rousiamani, 3rd General Lykeio of Trikala “Odysseas Elytis”, Trikala 42100. Telephone: 24310 22571, Fax: 24310 30435, email: mail@3lyk-trikal.tri.sch.gr Marianna Tycherou, Mitr. Amvrosiou 29, 41221, Larissa. Telephone: 2410 28413/6983091411, email: marty@twinz.gr DATE: 5 September 2013 SUBJECT: The reduction of English teaching hours in Greek secondary schools PAGES: 2 URGENT Dear Mr Kittmer, As teachers of English in the Greek state sector, we feel it our duty to write to you in the light of recent government proposals to drastically reduce the number of teaching hours of English in Greek secondary schools. While families are floundering to make ends meet as the wave of economic uncertainty surges across the country, instead of boosting the chances of the younger generation to gain access to knowledge and skills that might help save the country from ruin, there are plans to brutally deprive them of their rights to a free education. Next week the bill to reduce the hours of English in the first year of Gymnasia (Junior High Schools) and Lykeia (Senior High Schools) from three to two academic hours (40 minute periods) will be put to the vote in parliament. If it passes, the consequences will be disastrous. The level of excellence* that you refer to in your recent speech in honour of the centenary of Cambridge English Language Assessment will inevitably fall. As dedicated teachers of English, we aim to give our students as much input as possible, both of the English language and the culture, so that they may acquire in as natural a way as the circumstances allow, at least a working knowledge of the language and the skills required to pursue further knowledge once they leave school. 80 minutes a week is simply not enough, especially when we have classes of 27 to 30 students. How can we suddenly be expected to compress the syllabus into so few academic hours per year? We would be extremely interested in hearing the education minister’s suggestions. We call on you as the British ambassador to Greece and a highly regarded scholar to consider the plight of the youth of Greece who are the victims of this extreme shortsightedness and the intolerable disorganization brought about by the sudden ruthless proposal to slash the hours of English (and other essential subjects such as computer studies) just at the onset of the new academic year. We believe that the future of Greece and international relations lies in the hands of these young people. It is imperative that something is done to improve their chances of success. We live in hope. In the words of Lord Byron: “Out of chaos God made a world, and out of high passions comes a people.” Thank you for your attention. We look forward to hearing your response. *https://www.gov.uk/government/world-location-news/cambridge-ela-celebrates-74-years-in-greece

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