Northeastern University in Chicago, IL is piloting a program in cooperation with the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE). The cooperation agreement was signed last week by Representative of the Council Theodore Spyropoulos. He is the contact for the training and certification of expatriate teachers. The program will train expatriate students and graduates who are at a “certification-level” of the Greek language and to obtain a certificate to teach Greek as a second or foreign language.
According to the announcement that was made about the program, the grant to the University was made by the “Theodore and Erica Spyropoulos Foundation”. There will be twenty scholarships given to expatriate teachers for training purposes and preparations to meet the needs of Greek schools in America. Deputy Minister of the Department of Education and Religion in Greece Fofi Gennimata, in her communication to Education Coordinator Nick Nikolidaki in Chicago, explicitly expressed the intentions of her department. The department’s intentions are to proceed with the legislation which allows teachers who are currently certified by a recognized university abroad to teach Greek as a second or foreign language to meet the needs of Greek schools abroad.
The training program is scheduled to begin next September and according to Nikolidaki, shortly there will be an announcement for the acceptance of applications from interested certified expatriates. Currently a joint committee that includes members from the University and from the Department of Education of Greece, will be reviewing all applications.
“This is an important step that should also be adopted by other states in America” said Nikolidakis. He stressed that this initiative demonstrates the continuing relevance of the education of the Greek-speaking Diaspora and the effective support of the Ministry Education of Greece.