Maria Faedra Tsialera is the only teacher who lives on the small island of Arkoi in Greece’s Dodecanese. She keeps the primary school of the island open for the one and only student who lives there permanently.
Tsialera was born and raised in Thessaloniki, but her teaching career brought her to one of Greece’s smallest islands.
As state-run news agency AMNA reports, she asked to be on this island a year and a half ago, and since then she has undertaken the valiant effort to helped to build the island’s only school. Unfortunately, the school’s closure could be imminent, due to the lack of children on the island.
The remote, yet stunningly lovely, island has only 35 year-round inhabitants.
Tsialera was recently honored by the Academy of Athens for her dedication and professionalism.
When Tsialera spoke with AMNA she said that she doesn’t regret her decision to go to Arkoi at all.
The school is trying to give a rounded education to its only student, and it cooperates with other schools and individuals from across the country and beyond.
Due to the lack of an English teacher on Arkoi, her student is taking interactive classes through the internet with an English school located on the island of Leros.
In order for this to happen, the infrastructure needed to be created in order to connect the school with broadband internet. This finally occurred in 2017, after the Minister of Digital Policy ordered the work to be done.
The Greek Army is also helping the school with its everyday needs and the local community, along with Greeks from the diaspora, is attempting to create better conditions in hopes that more people may be able to live on Arkoi.
This small, remote Greek island is part of the Dodecanese archipelago. It is situated in the eastern Aegean Sea, close to the Turkish Aegean coast. It belongs to the municipality of Patmos.