Education and Learning (13th interview)
We start the 13th interview of the project on Halki Education and in a small community like this. We have with us Maria Diakopanagioti to talk to us about.
Hello my name is Maria Diakopanagioti. I am 21 years old and the last three years I live in Halki only the summers, because I am a student at University of Heraklion of Crete. Before that I used to be a schoolgirl three years at the school of Halki. My origin is from Rhodes, but because of my dad’s love about the island, my parents moved 26 years ago to Halki and since then we stay here.
- Here in Halki there were all levels of education. Do you liked the years you lived here?
Yes, compared to what I encountered at school where I transcribed and I went after here on Rhodes, there is no comparison. It was a very good level of education that we got from here. We were a few little kids, our teachers had not to do with thirty children as the corresponding classes in Rhodes, but in my case had to do with four children only in the classroom, we knew each other very well. Even outside the school we had an almost friendly relationship with our teachers. They knew about us, cared and concerned about the future that we could have later.
- Rhodes was not the case?
No, when you have a classroom with thirty students which is room for twenty, and by all when they want to watch only five to ten, you can not do lesson as a teacher only for those few children. Necessarily you teach for twenty students and let the other ten.
- The teachers here? There were people who offered?
Yes, there was a period of learning support that was paid to teachers in school. When funding for remedial teaching stopped, there were teachers who taught in the afternoons voluntarily, only to help children who had some gaps or help children who would give national exams. They started at three in the afternoon and can be reached until 9pm.
- In Rhodes there was something similar?
No, Rhodes teachers, whether they did private lessons and they were paid extra for that or lessons become in a tutorial.
- In Halki, to my knowledge, the Gymnasium and Lyceum were founded relatively recently, after the 1985 – 1990. Until then, children, the current elders, went to school in Rhodes. Do you think it’s good to have school even in such a small island like Halki?
Yes, it is necessary. If parents have their main job here, how they could go to Rhodes for the school children? It’s also a matter of survival.
- If you knew what you would meet in Rhodes, would you stay to be a student for the rest classes?
Yes, I wouldn’t leave from here. I would stay to finish high school here because the teachers were better. Children learn best. If a child does not understand something, the teacher will not go below. The teacher will stay there even for one child up to consolidate.
- What would you say was the main attraction and what is the main disadvantage of education in Halki?
The main advantage is that the school operates with good teachers and a few children. The disadvantage is that all teachers do not come early. There are cases where some teachers specialties come in October or November and this is bad for students who have many gaps and often complain.
- The children in Halki choose the direction in high school to vocational rehabilitation or hurry to finish school to do something else? Do they use school as a means to facilitate their future profession?
Some children yes, because they want to study and want to do something else in their life. Others not. They only want to get the diploma to continue their studies to some IEK or elsewhere in order to find quickly another job.
- In what proportion do you think are each other and not?
I would say that out of 15 children 5 want to study.
- What are you studying Maria?
I’m studying Civil Engineering at the TEI of Heraklion. In a sense Ι will practice professionally too. I do not intend to work only as engineering technician, because due to the situation in the country no one makes such projects anymore. So to the degree that I hope I get, I will present my papers to the Coast to work in the Technical Chamber of Rhodes.
- My last question, when you quit smoking?
My cough is because of cold. But when God claims me to be a mother then I quit.
- And just before, perhaps?
- Maria, thank you very much and have a good degree and perhaps good Master if you can afford.