Pupils present their needs to School Committee - all of which should go without saying...
CORFU. The problems highlighted by the pupils are neither complex nor unreasonable.
The first results of Central Corfu Municipal Secondary Education Committee's initiative to work with pupil councils are encouraging and pupils' concerns were heard.
The problems highlighted by the pupils in the first questionnaire given to them were neither complex nor unreasonable. They were, in fact, self-evident and should go without saying - replacement of damaged desks, chairs and toilet fixtures as well as repairs and paintwork.
It was striking that they also mentioned simple items such as waste baskets, curtains and even hangers for their coats and jackets!
Also amongst the responses - and again something that should really go without saying - was the need for creative, artistic and voluntary activities such as pupils themselves painting the walls.
We are listening to them
"The purpose of this open communication with pupils is to show them that we are here and are listening to them," School Committee President Kostas Kostalis told Enimerosi. "I was impressed by the response from the first high school to respond.
"It is true that a lot of what they are asking for are repairs that should have done years ago such as old basketball courts, for example. There are items that are within the responsibilities of the School Committee and which we can deal with such as electronic and other equipment or funding for a school performance. We have already approved funding of €1,200 for the 1st High School for a school performance.
"There are other matters which are not the committee's responsibility such as the replacement of desks, which is expensive and is the responsibility of the School Buildings Organisation, and building repairs, for which the Technical Works Department is responsible, but it is important that these needs be recorded.
"However, if one school had been dealt with each year over the last ten years or so, then we wouldn't have these problems now."
Pupil representative on School Committee
"We have already had discussions with the pupils so that one representative from the 15-member pupil councils at the seven high schools can take part in the School committee.
"The initial responses from the high school pupils have been very good and we intend to proceed with the junior high schools."
At the first meeting it was agreed to distribute separate questionnaires to high school pupils. They were asked to enter their school year and then list four or more things that should be changed to improve school life plus an additional suggestion for something they would like to be done.
"We were extremely happy that over 90% of the pupils responded," said Kostas Kostalis, "and over 250 questionnaires were returned with constructive comments and problems that require immediate attention. We separated these into three categories - main priority, secondary priority and creative suggestions."
These are the requests that were made, with the number of pupils for each in brackets:
- Sports equipment (110)
- Boards and markers (77)
- Toilets (repair & maintenance) (63
- Improvement of outdoor area (paintwork, more greenery) (63)
- Painting of classrooms (47)
- Equipment (balls, maps etc.) (39)
- Waste bins and baskets (indoors & outdoors) (33)
- Projectors, computers (29)
- Road surface repairs (23)
- More benches (59)
- Curtains in classrooms (36)
- Toilet fixtures (29)
- Replacement of damaged chairs and desks (16)
- Clothes hangers and pegs in each classroom (14)
- Renovation and use of amphitheatre (14)
- Painting of walls by pupils (23)
- Creation of school teams (10)
- Cycle parking
"We believe that school is not something separate, but a part of our community," said Mr. Kostalis. "These requests reflect pupils' impression of our schools and what is lacking. Whether they are of greater or lesser importance, we aim to satisfy them and this can be made possible with the contribution of the pupils."