Reasons to Love the European School Heraklion #1

#1 It is a European school, which follows a European curriculum and is open to children from across the continent.

Yes, I know. At the moment many people would say this is a reason to hate the school. We all know about the failures of Europe — the bureaucracy, the lack of solidarity, the way that European institutions have been used to benefit some nations over others.

But this isn’t a reason to give up on Europe. Things won’t get better if we return to the nationalistic outlooks that fostered two great European wars. Rather, we need to build a new Europe — a Europe founded on genuine mutual understanding, respect, and support, whose institutions are flexible and sensitive, drawing on local strengths and supporting local needs, and where national cultures, traditions, and experiences are valued and shared.

How could we create such a Europe, you may ask. Well, maybe by schooling children from different European countries together, in schools where they learn about each other’s culture and traditions, share their experiences and hopes, and learn to think of other European countries not as rival nations but as the homes of their friends. By bringing up young Europeans to be proud of their own country but also proud to belong to a wider family of nations with a shared history and shared ideals.

Is this idealistic? Yes, definitely! But kids are naturally idealistic and we should foster their idealism — and learn from it ourselves. We need the SEEH and more schools like it. Greece needs them. Europe needs them.

Maria K.

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