research for the Preliminary schools for immigrants in Athens

In Greece, the children of legal financial immigrants have priority by law for admittance in public preliminary schools. However, the number of the existing schools is insufficient. Moreover, bureaucracy stalls the admittance of children whose parents still do not acquire all the legal documents. As a result, a large percentage of these children face rejection from these schools. Part of the same problem is the lack of trained personnel and a curriculum that can embrace a sensitive multicultural environment and help incorporate the mother tongue, culture and religion of these children.

Many immigrant communities facing this problem have founded private preliminary schools or spaces for hosting toddlers with a timetable flexible to the parents work schedule, with very low tuition and multi-cultural curriculum.

Many of these preliminary schools are labeled as illegal and threatened to close due to lack of fulfillment of the state standards for health and safety. Moreover, there are very few buildings that can meet these standards in dense areas in central Athens where immigrants live, which makes it even more difficult for them to find appropriate housing for their schools.

In collaboration with the NGO “Εngineers of the Earth” we have initiated an on-going research in regards to the subject, divided in three phases. The first phase is about discovering these schools. The second phase deals with the monitoring of the building state and the problems rising in each case. The third phase is the collection and the analysis of the outcomes, in order to use them to their own benefit. Our research is still in phase one and two due to a climate of suspicion which stalls our communication with the schools and adjacent communities. Nevertheless, in the case of the preliminary school of the Philippine community Kasapi, the study of the building was carried out and the building is now in the process of getting the certificate of health and safety, which will classify it as appropriate for a preliminary school