Under the auspices of His Excellency, Eleftherios Aggelopoulos, Ambassador of Greece to Canada, in collaboration with the Greek Educational Affairs Office in Canada, and in the presence of the three General Consuls to Canada, Mr. Thanos Kafopoulos, Consul General of Greece in Montreal, Mr. Elias Kremmydas, Consul General of Greece in Vancouver, Mr. Iacovos Giragosian, Consul General of Cyprus in Toronto, a major Canadian Conference was held last Saturday on Strategies to Promote Greek Education (the Greek language, culture and Orthodox faith).
Hosted by the Hellenic Community of Ottawa, over sixty authorities from Vancouver to Newfoundland were present, including representatives from numerous Greek communities and Greek schools, from pre-school to university. Front row center was the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal and École primaire Socrates et Démosthène. Accompanying the Director General, Chris Adamopoulos, was Aliki Daher from the Board of Directors and Secretary of Supplementary Education of the HCGM, as well as Chrisoula Petimeza, the Director of Greek Education of the School, the Director of Platon-Omeros School, Mike Patsatzis, the Director of St-Nicolas School, Katie Kiryakides and four Socrates et Démosthène teachers, Elli Mandalenakis, Frances Liontaris, Eleni Dracopoulou and Yannis Moutafides.
École primaire Socrates et Démosthène, already acknowledged as the foremost authority on multilingual and Greek Education across Canada, North America and the world, was the focus, as most of the other schools were looking on ways of improving their product and enrollment. The Director General was a keynote presenter and dazzled the audience with a fabulous PowerPoint presentation on our School as he elaborated with details about Socrates et Démosthène’s mission, programs, current issues and the School’s long history of successes and accomplishments. Chris Adamopoulos focused on the topic on hand, the Greek Program, and explained that it was one of our School’s top priorities to offer a program of the highest possible levels along with a high level French and English Programs.
The Director General also elaborated on about two current projects the School is working on, an International Baccalaureate campus and our first ever multilingual full-time private high school. Inspiring the warm audience, he answered numerous questions and invited everyone to pay our Community and School a visit. The Greek Education Coordinator, Dr. Despina Hatzidiakou, thanked the Director General, and announced that her Office looked forward to a continued collaboration.
Meanwhile, the university statistical analysis that was commissioned and presented by the Greek Education Office on what exactly is being taught across Canada, to whom and where in terms of Greek Education, revealed some interesting findings. Ontario might have more youth enrolled in some kind of a Greek program, but Quebec leads in quality and structure. Special emphasis was given to the fact that in Montreal numerous pre-kindergarten programs and associated CPE’s help feed Socrates et Démosthène, something not found anywhere else in Canada. And only Quebec offered adult Greek programs, courtesy of the HCGM’s Greek Studies Program.
Finally, a surprise announcement was made to the audience by the Director of Ottawa’s Museum of Civilization, M. Michel Côté, about a fabulous new art and artifact exhibition that it would be hosting in 2015. Some 500 pieces covering over 5000 years of Greek history will be on display. This exhibition, which according to the Director has the capacity to change one’s life, will be called GREEKS FROM AGAMEMNON TO ALEXANDER THE GREAT. Ottawa is one of only four North-American cities that will host this exhibition. Our School will make every effort to send as many children as possible, with their teachers, to visit this exhibition in 2015.