The confederation of secondary school parents has submitted its suggestions for the better induction of foreign pupils in schools, including measures on more efficient learning of the Greek language, Phileleftheros reports.
As the situation stands, according to the confederation of secondary school parents’ memo presented before the House Education Committee, foreign pupils are currently unable to follow classes due to language barriers, as is the case with their teachers who are unable to communicate with them. As a result, children are often bored and occasionally cause disruption in class.
In addition, many of the children arrive in Cyprus at various stages during the school year — in some cases even a month before the year-end — and are unable to catch up as they join classes already underway.
The recommended measures by the parents, that include the forming of special induction classes, aim to facilitate communication between foreign students and teachers via focused Greek language teaching and to prevent the students’ sidelining.
In particular, it is recommended that the specialised classes are steered towards preventing early school leaving by students from vulnerable social environments and students with distinct cultural and religious backgrounds.
However, to prevent their alienation, parents say that it is paramount to attend some classes with their Greek-speaking peers.
“The addition of complementary subjects like art, gymnastics and music will not only help them socialise — as the language of these courses is universal — but will also help them express their emotions and explore their talents,” the announcement states.
Once the students attain at least a B1 language level certificate in Greek, then they would be able to observe regular classes with their peers, it is added.
Beyond the learning of the Greek language, it is emphasised that children of foreign backgrounds should be familiarised with the history and culture of Cyprus in order to cultivate respect and love towards the host country to prevent antisocial behaviour and its consequences.
The possibility to use interpreters for better communication between teachers and foreign pupils is also mentioned, as well as the use of technology in the learning process.
Teachers should also receive the appropriate training by the Ministry of Education, it is emphasised, that should provide them with the necessary tools to teach foreign students that must involve experiential learning.
As some of these children come from war-torn countries, it is suggested that both the parents and the children are provided with the necessary psychological and social support to help their integration in the social fabric.
Finally, the induction procedures implemented should be effectively monitored and evaluated and adjusted as required to maximise results for the benefit of the students.