By Bejay Browne
PARENTS and officials are waiting for the final decision of the education minister following a meeting in Paphos which will seal the fate of pupils at a rundown gymnasium.
Education Minister Costas Kadis chaired a meeting on Tuesday, which was attended by all of the relevant bodies, with the aim of finding a solution to the ongoing problem of Nikolaideio gymnasium in Paphos.
Maria Zavrou the head of the Paphos schools’ committee said: “The minister noted that the current school is not safe and must be moved. It would be feasible to temporarily move some of the children to empty classrooms at the elementary school close by.”
Prior to the meeting a proposal which was sent to the ministry of education, was agreed by all of the concerned parties according to mayor, Savvas Vergas.
“We agreed to three main points which we hope will solve the problems that have been ongoing for more than a decade,” he said.
Vergas says he had been pushing to find common ground between all of the concerned parties in the wake of recent demonstrations held at the school.
Students, parents and teachers of the Nikolaideio in the centre of Paphos, say they are fed up with inaction over the future of the school, which is currently housed in an old building in urgent need of repair. In 2004, the ministry of education suggested that the school merge with Kykkos Lyceum, an idea which was vehemently opposed by parents and teachers.
Due to strong arguments against the proposal the subject was put on hold.
The mayor said: “Firstly, we proposed that the Nikolaideio leave the current building as is it dangerous. Secondly a new building to house the Nikolaideio should be constructed in the centre of Paphos and thirdly the Kykkos Lyceum should remain open.”
Zavrou said that pupils and their families were concerned and were being left in limbo about their future education. “We put some ideas forward to the minister and now it’s up to him,” she said.
Vergas said that as the school had become dangerous and would probably need to be demolished in the long run. The health and safety of the students were of paramount importance.