SAE USA Region Coordinator, Mr. Theodoros Spyropoulos, on the occasion of AHI’s annual meeting, under his membership on the Board of Directors of the Greek-American organization, had meetings with government officials in Athens.
Mr. Spyropoulos’ meeting with the Deputy Ministers of Education, Lifelong Learning and Religious Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Panaretos and Ms. Evi Christophilopoulou, was a constructive one, whereby issues related to Education provided in the Greek language in the USA were raised.
“The leadership of the Ministry demonstrate sensitivity to issues regarding the education of the Greek Diaspora and interest for the particular traits of Education provided in Greek in the USA”, said Mr. Spyropoulos, who submitted proposals on the upgrading of education in conjunction with savings made on resources.
More specifically he requested to consider the possibility of support provided by the Ministry of Education of Greece on the pilot program, which is already complete, at the University of Illinois for the education and certification of Greek educators, as well as the inclusion of the possibility of recruiting at least 20 Greek teachers living abroad and Greek immigrant educators in a relevant ministerial decision.
“Such a prospect could cover the needs of afternoon and Saturday schools” stated Mr. Spyropoulos. “On the other hand, it is very important that we, as Greeks abroad, support relevant programs in American universities and encourage Greeks abroad to attend them. The program of the University of Illinois could be extended thereafter in New York and other areas characterized by strong Greek presence”.
Mr. Spyropoulos also requested not to consider as specializations – under a strict sense of the term – the following educational specializations such as, music instructors, gym instructors and nursery school teachers, since they teach language, history and cultural courses to their Greek students.
Meeting with the Minister of Finance, Competitiveness and Shipping, Ms. Louka Katselis
Mr. Spyropoulos discussed with the Minister of Finance, Competitiveness and Shipping ways in which the Greek – American community can support Greece for the resurgence of the Greek economy in this critical phase it is going through. The executive director of AHI, Mr. Nick Laryngakis also participated in the discussion.
“It is very important to receive information from the National Centre for developments in our homeland”, stressed Mr. Spyropoulos “The relevant Greek authorities must indicate ways in which we can contribute in this critical period in an organized and effective manner”.
The Minister on her part showed particular interest on the proposal which was submitted by the Coordinator of SAE, USA since last December for issuing Bonds for the Greek Diaspora. Mr. Spyropoulos had the opportunity to thoroughly analyze his proposal, explaining that issuing such bonds will benefit Greece and the Greek Diaspora for the strengthening of Education provided in Greek Language abroad, for the support of Greek Chairs in foreign Universities, etc.
Meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness, Bartholomew
Mr. Spyropoulos was accepted on Thursday by the Ecumenical Patriarch, His All Holiness Bartholomew on Thursday in Phanar, whereby he conveyed the love and respect on behalf of the members of the Greek – American Community.
“We ensured His All Holiness on the continuous support that the Greek Diaspora provides to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarch. We also informed him on the interest that SAE Youth has shown within the framework of its voluntary activities, for ensuring the registration of the archives of the School of Chalki, as well as the prospect for the restoration of Churches in Asia Minor” stated Mr. Spyropoulos.
The Head of the Orthodox Church, expressed His gratitude for the support offered by the Greek Diaspora. At the same time he showed particular interest on the activities of the Greek – American Institute “Plant your Roots in Greece”. Mr. Spyropoulos handed a relevant brochure to the Ecumenical Patriarch (www.plantyourrootsingreece.org).