THE bills covering new school regulations will be tabled in parliament for a vote next week, Education Minister Costas Kadis said on Friday, warning that further delays in the reforms only lead to more confusion.
Political parties decided to postpone the vote of the two bills that were slated to be put before the plenum on Friday, following a request from parents’ associations.
The new regulations on secondary education include the introduction of exams at the end of each semester. Parents and students oppose the measure, saying it would turn schools into nothing more than exam centres.
Kadis said that the bills will be put to a vote at the next plenary session on Friday.
“The more this is being postponed, the more the confusion and doubt,” Kadis said. He added that the new amendments will not affect the philosophy around which the regulations have been drafted, but the aim is “to put concerns at ease”. The proposed amendment, he said, concerns the introduction of a mechanism that would oversee the implementation of provisions on student evaluation.
On Thursday, public high school students walked out of their classrooms to protest the new regulations. The decision followed a call by the confederation of secondary school parents on Wednesday for a walk-out to bolster their demand that the House postpone their vote on the bills in order to allow time for dialogue and ensure proper implementation. Despite the parents calling off the measure later on, students decided to go ahead.
The education ministry had rejected pleas for further negotiations with stakeholders, arguing that an exhaustive six-month dialogue had already taken place. Kadis had said that the proposed regulations were based on scientific evidence and their aim was to provide students with the best education and upgrade the educational system.
Students also held a protest outside parliament last month, to exert pressure on MPs over the same issue.