09/22/2019 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – As the Turkish school year starts, a new media report indicates that there are less than 300 Greek students attending the 7 remaining orthodox schools left in the country. This is a tragic reminder of the Pontic genocide which nearly eliminated Greek Christians a century ago.
As the school year opens, Greek Christians reflected to the Independent Turkce News on the positives and challenges facing their communities. The small number of students allows for a more personalized approach towards education, and teachers expressed happiness at how well their students often perform. However, the ever decreasing number of students constantly threatens to close the schools.
These schools have the status of being a special minority school, and only Greek Orthodox students are allowed to attend. They are educated in Greek, but must follow the curriculum of the Ministry of National Education although they receive no funding from the ministry. The schools supplement the curriculum with textbooks from Greece. The schools have noted that they often pay the price of the good and bad days between the two countries. It is challenging to find teachers willing to instruct in this kind of environment.