Some locals still oppose migrants at school

13 October 2016
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Despite the relative success, so far, of the program to educate migrant youngsters at public schools, isolated protests were reported again Wednesday, even though they were milder than Monday’s.

As most refugee and migrant children received a warm welcome at the majority of schools, the village of Profitis, near Thessaloniki, saw just 20 local children showing up at school Wednesday out of the 130 registered students, in protest at the presence of migrant pupils.

However, Nikos Christorou, the secretary of the local association of primary school teachers, told Kathimerini he was confident that “logic will prevail and the school will soon be filled with children.”

“There are now some 40 children from the refugee center at Langadika attending school, where they are learning Greek, English and other lessons,” he said, insisting that “we must not allow prejudice and xenophobia to poison the hearts and minds of children.”

In the town of Oraiokastro, also near Thessaloniki, several locals protested Wednesday when SYRIZA party members distributed flyers promoting the school attendance of refugee children.

The program, launched on Monday with the participation of some 1,500 migrant children in Attica, Central Macedonia and Epirus, aims to gradually induct some 22,000 minors from refugee centers at 800 schools across the country.

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