Every teacher who serves in Bloemfontein naturally develops a relationship with the permanent Greek residents, managing to become admired by many, although not by all. However, and perhaps what is most important, the teacher has always been the connecting link between the Greek immigrants and the motherland. He is the person who brings to the foreign country the tone of the changes prevailing in the homeland. Let us not forget that the vast majority of the Greek immigrants had already settled in Bloemfontein before the arrival of the first officially appointed Greek teacher. Consequently, they as well as their children have in mind an undeveloped Greece or a place of origin they have never seen. The teacher is called “daskale” by all Greeks, young and old alike. This Greek word is a respectful and formal word for “teacher”.
The Committee members watch the school’s progress closely and receive good cooperation from the teacher. Furthermore, the teacher regularly attends committee meetings, a fact that shows the importance the community attaches to Greek education. It is only natural to presume that the Committee sometimes interferes with the schoolteacher’s work, but in reality this does not happen often; only when problems arise. In this regard, the most common problem is a decline in the school attendance of children.
The Greek Ministry of Education pays the teacher. All the educators abroad receive their salary in Greece and an additional one, as motivation, depending on which country they find themselves in. In South Africa, this extra pay was $ 800 per month in 1990 and $ 1 317 per month in 2002. Yet, the truth is that an employer-employee relationship develops between all the teachers and the Committee. The community offers the teachers benefits, such as a monthly “salary”, which in 1978 was R400 and in 2002 as much as R1 500, a furnished flat and a car, to mention only a few. Sometimes they set requirements irrelevant to the teacher’s conventional duties – something that was at the bottom of several dissensions.
The parents of the children pay a small amount in tuition fees to the community to cover the school’s expenses. Thus, the diminished attendance of the pupils also have an economic impact: the smaller the number of pupils involved, the more deficient the school’s financial balance becomes. The Committee usually asks the teacher to explain this state of affairs. Furthermore, the Committee members themselves, on occasion, propose ideas to make the school more attractive to the children.