Class quota for foreign pupils?

The Education Ministry is considering setting a ceiling on the number of foreign schoolchildren in state schools next year, in order to establish a better balance in classes where, in some cases, non-native Greek speakers form 75 percent of the pupils, an official said yesterday. Constantinos Skandalis, the ministry official responsible for Attica primary and secondary schools, told a conference on multicultural education that foreign immigrants would be encouraged to send their children to schools out of their own districts in order to achieve a better distribution of pupils who do not have Greek as their native language. The highest ratio of foreign to Greek pupils is in the Athens areas of Kypseli and Patissia, where in some primary schools non-Greeks make up over 75 percent of pupils. Last year, 20.75 percent of all Athens schoolchildren were non-Greeks. Skandalis said the ministry would also provide more after-school tutoring for immigrants’ children, who often start classes with minimal knowledge of Greek, and hire more teachers with experience in non-Greek speaking classes.