Interview with the Special Education Professor Giorgos Naoumis
After the First Part and with the presentation here of the Second Part, the tribute Special Education and Agricultural Training is completed through the narrative of our good friend, professor Giorgos (or Manolis or Thanasis) Naoumis.
On the other hand, for the girls who were fascinated by the “κάλλος” of the archetypal Mediterranean man, we promise a different tribute to Giorgos, with outstanding artistic photography by the departed Helmut Newton.
And for Special Education, we simply promise to come back.
What fortune does these children have for their graduation? What are the prospects for their lives after here?
Unfortunately, their training stops in high school. There are no higher special education structures in Greece. Of course, over the last five years, 2-3 post-secondary (IEK-EA) programs have started and are operating at an experimental level. But these, in addition to the experimental nature, mainly concern people with vision or hearing problems.
Agricultural training, as well as any kind of cognitive education tailored to these children, ends or rather abruptly interferes with secondary school.
And after that?
Exactly what is waiting for them after graduation we do not know – there are no statistics or reliable researches. So, I will tell you, purely on the empirical level, that few students, and even the most functional ones, may somewhere work mainly in relatives or family-friendly persons. Because of this there is also a lack of suitable support structures for finding work or even of some form of underemployment.
Please note here that many of these children actually have some particularly remarkable skills that they could unfold in a related job, being as productive as any other worker in the field.
So the prospect for these children, if I understand well, is the lack of perspective. Okay, then let’s move on to more joyful primitive themes. What are the circumstances in which the special education educator is called upon to carry out his work? How are things in terms of means, logistical infrastructure?
I will not say anything original: we are extremely behind the rest of Europe, although there have been some serious steps, at least at institutional context level, over the past 10 years.
That is, the legal / institutional foundations of support and the operation of purely educational structures were introduced where there were only institutionalization ones.
Now, by relation to the logistics infrastructure in Special Education, in the general economic downturn of the country, you can imagine how the things are.
I think you exaggerate. Besides, the memorandums came to speed up the economic collapse in Greece and not to suspend it. Or something like that. And because we live in strange memorandums seasons, I have the courage to ask you an indiscriminate question: is the Special Education teacher still paid or is he happy to pay for his livelihood hobby?
The Special Education teacher must somehow also have special qualifications. My colleagues in the overwhelming majority have postgraduate and doctorate degrees, but they also systematically attend seminars on the subject. This has never been offset in financial terms – on the contrary, an allowance for work in the special education that existed was cut before 4-5 unforgettable years. So along with the belt, we tighten our teeth too.
It is painful to imagine the hygiene of the oral cavity. Let’s leave the dentures in place and let’s move on to another subject.
I know that not you, but Manolis or Thanasis, who I said earlier, in the context of upgrading the agricultural training – education provided to these children, managed to ‘persuade’ the one known Foundation to finance the construction of a greenhouse – a model, a state of the art greenhouse that would envy many professionals. How did Manolis or Thanasis achieve this, have support and supporters, or should he have overcome, and why do not I know which and how many obstacles?
This was made possible by the stubbornness and endless patience of Manolis or Thanassis. Support; The supporter was the excellent direction of the school and only – no one else. From obstacles, nothing else, innumerable. Suffice it to tell you that, as Manolis or Thanasis told me, this work was completed in 45 days, when the whole process lasted about 2.5 years. Something, the inelastic and merciless bureaucracy, the passage of the study and the acceptance of the work by councils and committees, the balance sheets of the Municipalities, had to spend 2.5 full years. But eventually the work became and will remain.
OK this work was done. With the other, the parental estate in Mytilene what is it? What about olive grove?
I did a good job with very personal work and spending money. The result was the regeneration of the olive grove. I will continue with all my strength to support it. For now, the olive oil of the year has come out, and I hope that over time it will become even more productive. And everything shows that it will be.
George, thank you very much for the time you dedicated me.
Thank you too.
Our friend Giorgos and the Agricultural Training in Special Education farewelled by the only and one Ian Dury & the Blockheads with their song Spasticus Autisticus.
However before listening to this there are two rather interesting External Links:
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