Distinguished members of the Executive Board of CGS,
Dear students and teachers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a true honor to be speaking at the opening session of this unique educational event, in front of such inspiring professors, surrounded by so many students and teachers.
I would like to warmly thank the Costeas Geitonas School for the kind invitation. But most importantly, I would like to congratulate it for its great initiative to organize such a conference. CGS, which boasts more than 40 years of experience in education, offers a competitive advantage to its students who are able to combine their studies in a Greek school with exceptionally high international academic standards.
One of the aims of the present conference is to explore new trends in learning environments; new trends that contribute to the development and mastery of competencies and skills; new trends that significantly advance the quality of learning. Such an aim is of particular importance in times that changes of unimaginable speed, occur in almost all areas of human action. New skills, new jobs; we are living in a constantly evolving environment. All those involved in educational policy should be thinking about what jobs will be out there in 2033. Why 2033? Because that is when kids who are today in the first year of primary school, will graduate from University and enter the very competitive job market. And the world by then will be a very different place.
Ladies and gentlemen, first and foremost, we have a duty to provide our children with the ability to adapt to the ever-changing and demanding living and working conditions. We have a duty to provide them with skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, resilience, empathy, and assist them in becoming independent thinkers and active citizens. I am sure this conference will give us all answers and pathways to solutions.
And when I say “all” I don’t mean just educators. Because this conference doesn’t only aim at inspiring educators, it aims at inspiring everybody to start thinking outside the box with respect to personal development at every age, both within and outside the classroom.
Before closing, I would like to stress, that New Democracy, the major opposition party in Parliament, and its leader himself, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, places a particular emphasis on education. Our vision for the years to come is our country to become an educational hub in the heart of Southeastern Europe, offering high quality education to all citizens of Greece but also attracting students from all over the world.
We are currently working hard on finalizing the details of our education policy; a policy based on the principles of excellence, meritocracy and autonomy – autonomy of schools and universities.
However, there is no need for us to reinvent the wheel when the expertise of the wheelwrights of reform is offered right through initiatives like today’s. We are listening to the experts; we are learning from them, and we are trying to proceed to tailor made solutions well adjusted to the Greek reality.
And that is one more reason for which initiatives like today’s are so valuable.
And I will conclude this opening remark by very warmly thanking the honorable professors who are with us here today – even through technological means – to share their expertise, their knowledge, their vision, with all of us.
I wish this conference a great success. Thank you very much.