Michael Christodoulou AM applauds increased funding for community language schools

NSW Federation of Community Language Schools CEO Michael Christodoulou AM applauded the NSW government’s decision to allocate $ 10.18 million to schools and strengthen the rich tapestry of multiculturalism in NSW.

Announced on Wednesday, Education and Early Learning Minister Sarah Mitchell said the 587 community language schools across the state are essential to serving the thriving multicultural community.

“New South Wales is the most culturally diverse state in the country and we are proud to embrace the many languages ​​and cultures that contribute to our society,” said Ms. Mitchell.

Talk to The Greek HeraldMichael Christodoulou AM revealed that he has an upcoming meeting with the government to determine where it would be most appropriate to allocate the funds and how to get the most out of them.

“Sure, it’s for the industry, whether it’s teacher development or technology, I don’t know yet. But that’s what we’re going to push. To ensure that this money is distributed accordingly, ”said Christodoulou, adding that the majority of funds will go to benefit the children.

Michael Christodoulou with the Prime Minister of Fiji. Photo: Supplied

“We are very happy that both governments are involved and that they are helping community language schools.

The funding was announced at the Foundation’s 2021 annual gala dinner at the Bankstown Sports Club, which also included messages from the Premier and Premier of NSW.

Upon the funding announcement, Multiculturalism Minister Natalie Ward thanked the 3,210 volunteer teachers at community language schools, who taught 62 different languages ​​to students in the after-school program last year.

Christodoulou said that the Federation is currently involved in the teaching of 87 different languages. Of Greek origin, Christodoulou said the Hellenic language is one of the most important taught in schools.

“In community language schools, students actually learn languages. Governments have understood this and that is why they are investing more money, ”added Christodoulou.

The CEO added that over the past three years across Australia, the community languages ​​program has earned $ 30 million, plus an increase in per capita student funding of an additional $ 40 million.

Deputy Victor Dominello. Photo: Warren John Duncan

“So you’re talking about announcements of around 70 million just for our industry here in New South Wales.”

Christodoulou then thanked the Premier of New South Wales and the Australian state and federal governments for their contributions to the sector.

“If you go to many other countries around the world, I can assure you that they don’t give money for students to learn their own native languages. So we are very happy and very blessed that governments think this way. “

“Gladys Berejiklian, as she said in her post the other day, she is the product of a community language school because she went to an Armenian school. So she understands it.

The Federation recently offered two fifty dollar gift cards for purchases in IGA supermarkets to each of the young speakers of Thai, Nepalese, Greek and Portuguese who asked for help.

Lucie Johns. Photo: Supplied

Federation President Lucia Johns, who provided aid at the organization’s headquarters in Dulwich Hill, said: “Many of these young people remain hidden victims of the pandemic even 18 months after it began. Their financial situation has become extremely difficult as a lot of casual work has gone missing. “

“The fact that dozens of young people have come to our office asking for help tells me that they are in dire need of support. I was particularly concerned about the number of young women with babies who were looking for help, ”she said.

Asked about the Foundation’s next steps for the future, Christodoulou revealed that they are in talks with the federal government to help build community language schools.

“We would like our teachers to improve. This is the number one priority. We want them to go digital if they can, because students today prefer digital rather than the old style of teaching there. “

“Over the next couple of years, you’re going to hear a lot more of this for all of our schools. Our President Lucia Johns and I as CEO are very pleased with the announcement the other day and look forward to hearing more announcements over the next 12 months.

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