After-Hours (Extended Hours) Classes Program
The after-hours classes program basically means adding class hours to the regular secondary school program, for Minority pupils. It was designed with the intention to enhance the language skills and knowledge level of Minority pupils in basic courses (Greek Language, Math, Natural Sciences), and to contribute to the improvement of their performance and to a decrease in their drop-out rate.
The courses in the after-hours program were taught with the textbooks and other educational material produced by PEM. The teachers who gave these extra classes at a particular school were usually the ones who regularly worked at that school. In cases where the teaching needs of a course could not be met by the regular teachers of that school, outside teachers were employed. All the teachers who participated in the after-hours programs had to go through a training course organized by the very persons who produced the educational material for the courses included in this program. A teacher in each secondary (middle) school, usually the principal, assumed the coordination of, and the responsibility for, that school's after-hours program.
The after-hours program began to be implemented in 2002, in the second phase of the “Project for the Education of Muslim Children” and, as the number of pupils who participated in it indicates, was met with great response and interest.
- 2002-2003: In total, 5,800 additional hours of classes were conducted at 17 secondary schools in the Xanthi and Rhodope prefectures (counties).The total number of pupils who attended these classes (from the 7th and 8th grades) was 835, and the number of teachers who taught the classes was 109.
- 2003-2004: In total, 14,500 additional hours of classes were conducted at 19 secondary schools in the same two prefectures. The classes were attended by 931 pupils (from the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades), and the number of teachers who taught them was 127.
The teachers who worked in the after-hours program in the 2002-04 phase also took part in the pilot application of the teaching materials (for the Greek Language, Literature, Mathematics and Natural sciences classes), which they also evaluated. They suggested adjustments and corrections, which were later incorporated into the new textbooks and other educational items.
- During the 2005-2006 school year, additional classes were conducted (for four weeks, in April and May) at 22 secondary schools of the Xanthi and Rhodope prefectures. The total number of additional hours of classes was 2,325, which were attended by 1,226 pupils and were taught by 110 teachers.
- In the 2006-2007 school year, 14,391 additional hours of classes were conducted in 20 secondary schools in the Xanthi, Rhodope and Evros prefectures. The total number of pupils who attended these classes was 888, and the number of teachers who taught the classes was 128.