Education in Greece is often problematic but there are times that it helps highlight important examples of innovation and hope.
The example of 90 children from across the country gathering in Anatolia College in Thessaloniki shows that there is still hope despite the Greek crisis and recession.
Ninety Greek children from all social classes, students in secondary and high schools, participate in the summer school of the “Center for Gifted-Talented Children” which was founded by Anatolia College in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. The program is exclusively funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
Antonis Apostolou, head of the program, said that these children have exceptional academic skills and that the project gives them the opportunity to broaden their horizons by attending courses beyond the typical school curriculum.
The selection of students was based on a special test of Johns Hopkins University, designed for higher levels of education. This year, 1,500 high school students from all over Greece participated in the exams. The 90 students selected will attend courses of Cryptography, Biomedical Sciences, Probability and Game Theory, Engineering Design Principles, Chemistry in Society and Computer Science.
The teachers of the program claim that their students are extremely talented and hard-working children, interested in learning new things. However, they are modest and keep a low profile.
“I think I have a creative mind that can solve certain problems easier,” says Nefeli. Artemis said that the deputy director of the school pushed her to participate in the program because she was good in mathematics. For Andronikos, summer school is more interesting than a summer vacation. “I’m learning great new things,” he says, while Vangelis who initially wanted to be a pilot, finds Cryptography exciting.