Education authorities in the northern town of Serres on Monday announced an initiative to create a network of between 50 and 100 schools where students will have the option of learning the Pontic Greek dialect.
The initiative was announced as part of an ongoing educational program related to Pontic Hellenism which was begun three years ago by the Education Ministry under the auspices of the Hellenic National Committee for Unesco.
“It is a large project [the creation of the network of schools], which we are now trying to put into action after three years of implementing the program and it is our vision to take it one step further by trying to avoid losing this dialect,” Ioannis Poulios, an official at the Primary Education Directorate of Serres, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
He said the initiative, which is also backed by the Chair of Pontic Studies at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University and Pontic educator groups, will need the approval of the Education Ministry.
Pontic Greek was the language spoken by ethnic Greeks in the mountains of northeastern Turkey.
“The Pontic dialect is ancient Greek,” said Poulios, adding that the initiative seeks to “remind” children about Pontic Hellenism and its contribution to Greece’s cultural identity.