Cyprus Mail

Initiative looks at how to overcome cuts in education

Sir Christopher Pissarides

By Staff Reporter

THE Cyprus Volunteer Team of Supporters of the European Citizens’ Initiative “Invest in Education” is organising an open event tomorrow regarding a campaign to put an end to cuts in education due to austerity measures.

The initiative aims to propose legislation which will put an end to education cuts using a formulas which excludes from the calculation of each country’s public spending deficit that part of government spending for education that is lower than the last five-year Eurozone average.

“In simple words, barring budget on education from being taken into account in deficit measurement of the Eurozone member-states’ budgets, will allow them, in long and medium term, to counter the vicious cycle of recession-unemployment-degradation of education-zero growth”, the initiative said.

Sir Christopher Pissarides, the Cypriot Nobel Prize Winner for Economics, will be delivering the key-note speech. He is one of the supporters of the initiative.

The organisers set a goal of collecting 4,500 electronic signatures of support and argue that although expenditure shouldn’t be cut, an education policy overhaul is needed.

“The question should be the quality of investment in education, i.e. how spending is allocated to the different levels of the educational system in Cyprus, how the outcomes are benchmarked and assessed, how funding harvest adequate results to counter fight youth unemployment and educational deficiencies in a globalised market and an international educational competitive system,” the initiative said.

They added that there should also be thorough review of how structural changes are achieved, such as removing any barriers in teaching, researching and learning facilities, having open libraries in all public and private institutions, for more hours, including weekends and for all citizens.

The event will take place from 4pm to 8pm at the European Union House (30, Lord Byron Street, Nicosia).

Following the keynote speech by Pissarides, a roundtable discussion will take place with Niyazi Kizilyurek, Chara Makriyianni, Loizos Michael, Theodoros Panayiotou, Pavlos Pavlou, Panayiotis Persianis, Mimis Sophocleous and Constantinos Hadjistassou.

The open discussion is co-organised by the Association for Social Reform (OPEK), the Cyprus Academic Dialogue (CAD), the European Parliament Office in Cyprus and the European Youth Movement (EYM).

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