Esperino Gymnasio-Lykeiakes Taxeis Trikalon, Trikala

Evening High School of Trikala is a public secondary education school for working students – over 14 years of age – and also for adults (working and not working) who wish to get the certificate of High school and Lyceum.

The pupils dropped out from school during adolescence for a number of reasons, mainly for family, economical and psychological ones. For the time being, most of the pupils are workers and family holders at the same time while there also unemployed students, too. These people try to complete their basic studies under difficult circumstances. At the same time, a large number of students are of various nationalities as Albanians, Russians, etc. These people have to face issues like learning the Greek language, adjusting to the Greek educational system and in the school community and regional society. Moreover, there is also the case of students of low social and family/economical background who are excluded from other schools due to low physical and cognitive abilities and also delinquent behaviour.

As a result, the classes consist of students of different ages and cognitive abilities. Adults and teenagers many times have to co-exist in the same class bringing with them their personal, family and job issues and also their wish to fulfill their aims for personal success, acceptance and advancement. All these conditions often result in conflicts among students and between students and teachers. These conflicts, together with the low academic achievements lead to early school leaving and school failure. Nevertheless, the school’s offer is very significant for each and every case of the ones mentioned above. But, we have to keep in mind that it is a school with extremely patchy classes and students with low educational, socio-economic status, a fact that makes teaching and its effectiveness particularly difficult and problematic.

Given the particular students’ framework and low background, our school aims more at reinforcing the students’ overall mental and cultural cultivation, than the plain transmission of knowledge. This is made possible through their participation in several activities that introduce them to the principles of democracy, cooperation, solidarity and volunteerism. The target of these kind of activities is to make the students – both teenagers and adults – realize that the school environment is first and foremost, an inclusion environment where everyone should feel safe in their diversity to express themselves through actions that take into account the principles of tolerance to the “different” other, of acceptance of all opinions, of cooperation with others, of democratic procedures in decision making, of solidarity, of charity and volunteerism.

Our school is experienced in organizing activities that concern the improvement and development of the personality of the teachers and the students. The main objectives that have been set concerning the reduction of early school leaving, the qualification of teachers with tools and practices in managing the challenging classes and the psychological support of students.