Flinders University would advance its leading position in teaching Modern Greek in Australia under proposed funding by Shadow Education Minister David Pisoni.
Mr Pisoni, who will meet with the Greek community at an event at Flinders University tonight (March 6), said that if a Liberal government is elected in next Saturday’s state election, the Flinders LOGOS Australian Centre for Hellenic Language and Culture would receive more than $1million dollars over three years to finalise its online program, provide scholarships for Modern Greek students at Flinders and bring online Modern Greek courses to South Australia’s primary schools.
He said that if he became Minister for Education, he would also support the teaching of Greek through to year 12.
Professor Michael Tsianikas, Director of the LOGOS Centre, said the funding would be a major step towards South Australians being able to study Modern Greek from Year 1 right through to post-graduate level.
“Flinders University has already developed three years of study in Modern Greek at beginner level and has developed the first of three years at advanced,” Professor Tsianikas said. “Three cultural topics on Greek history and culture in English are also available for all students.
“This extra funding would enable us to develop online courses so that Modern Greek is also offered every year at primary school.
“This is of the highest significance, at the right time, and will make a huge difference in the area of teaching languages in South Australia, and possibly nationally.”
Professor Tsianikas said online models developed by Flinders University could open up French, Italian, Spanish, and a range of Asian language study options, across Australia.
Mr Pisoni, the State Member for Unley, said the Hellenic influence on South Australia’s economic and cultural life had been profound. He said he also shared the Greek community’s concerns about the future of Modern Greek in schools.
“As Minister for Education, I will work to ensure students of all ages and backgrounds in South Australia have the opportunity to study Modern Greek through to year 12,” he said.