Russian school students will be taught Greek as a foreign language as of January 1, 2017. The final decision and approval was signed by Russian Minister of Education, Olga Vasilieva, in the middle of this month.
A proposal for the teaching of Greek as a language selection from the Modern Greek Literature Faculty at the University of Kuban in Krasnodar (southern Russia), preceded the Ministerial decision, in the framework of the country’s policy for teaching the languages of minorities in the region.
It was finally decided that Greek should be taught as a second or foreign language throughout the territory of the Russian Federation and in particular in the fifth and sixth grade as well as in the first three classes of high school.
“We are very happy and satisfied because we got to this point, that is, for the Greek language to be visible for the first time in Russian schools. It is a feat that took several years of preparation. The textbooks for the teaching of the Modern Greek Language as a language selection as one of the languages that can be selected by Russian students in the last years of primary school and first years of high school are ready. They were prepared mainly because of the work put in place at the University of Kuban,” says Pericles Mitkas, Dean of Aristotle University- who pushed for many years to have the Greek language taught in Russia.
“This achievement comes as a result of many years of constant effort by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki to promote the Greek language in the Black Sea countries,” said Pericles at a press conference for the new program.
New Consul General of Russia in Thessaloniki, Alexander Sermpakof, was also there and pointed out that the introduction of the teaching of the Greek language in primary and secondary education in Russia “creates a strong promotional foundation of Greek in Russia and prospects for further cooperation in the field of culture and education."