A study on Second Chance Schools: Empirical evidence from Muslims of Thrace

Mpourelou Baia, Teacher

Abstract: For many years the Muslim minority of Thrace had a high rate of school dropouts. As a result, a considerable part of the population is at risk of social alienation. On the other hand, Second Chance Schools have been established to provide assets to people who have dropped out of education, so that they are not detached from the socio-economic process. The present study was designed to report experiences of Muslims of Thrace attending Second Chance Schools. For this purpose face-to-face individual interviews with Muslims who have graduated or are attending those schools were conducted. The outcomes of the research indicate that there is a good cooperation between Muslim learners and teachers, with the latter seeming to meet the learning needs of this group, that Muslims consider teaching methods as effective, that attendance contributes to their socialization and strengthens their self-confidence and self-esteem, while diploma is considered to be an important asset for finding a job. The most important situations that were mentioned as problematic and for which Muslims suggest changes and improvements are about timely staffing for the timely beginning of the courses. All in all, the valuation of Second Chance Schools by people of the Muslim minority is positive and these institutions seem to fulfill the expectations of this sensitive social group.

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