Like areas around the world, schools in Greece have closed, reopened and closed again over the past year as pandemic restrictions ebb and flow. When Greek schools went virtual, the Avlona detention center, a former military prison that holds nearly 300 young men, mostly ages 18-21, had no way for inmates to continue learning: internet devices are banned from their prison cells. Petros Damianos, who directs Avlona Special Youth Detention Center's school, managed to set up a dedicated TV channel for the prison's classes. Teachers broadcast new lessons everyday -- on topics ranging from math and economics to music and handicrafts. Music teacher Nikos Karadosidis, who took on the role of tech support, edited teachers' lessons into the wee hours of the night and broadcasted them the next day. The channel runs 24 hours a day, showing pre-recorded lessons on a loop for six hours each weekday and eight hours on a loop on weekends. For the students, the classes provide a human respite from the harshness of prison life. '“School is something different. It’s a bit more human than the rest of the prison,” said M.S., a 21-year-old who earned his high school diploma in Avlona. “We come here and we joke around with our teachers. They take care of us.... It’s a bit like a family.”

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