By Evie Andreou
UNLESS Education Minister Costas Kadis agrees to meet with them and gives his commitment in writing, all dialogue concerning the future of substitute teachers will be discontinued, their union OELMEK said yesterday.
The union, which met to discuss the ministry’s proposed educational reform, disagrees with the measures on substitute teachers, citing vagueness on training, evaluations, and not reference to the cost.
Following the World Bank’s highly critical report on the education system of Cyprus, released in June, Kadis had said that even though the report was not binding his ministry would introduce changes.
Concerning the new system of appointments the union said that the ministry’s proposal did not agree with the President’s suggestion to secure the working status of substitute teachers employed for more than 30 months. They will ask to meet Kadis as soon as possible to discuss the matter, they said.
OELMEK, the union that represents secondary school teachers, said that the proposal on obligatory training “consists of a series of gaps and a vagueness which may hide serious dangers”.
It does not mention when the training would take place and for how long.
“As an organisation we stress that we will not accept obligatory training if it does not fulfil the criteria we have set,” said the union. These included training at regular intervals, agreed times and costs to be borne by the education ministry.
The union asked the ministry to make the proposal more specific so that a proper dialogue can take place.
“The suggested procedures the proposal cements the bureaucracy it is supposedly trying to restrict,” the union said.
“Basic parameters are absent which one must keep in mind in order to be able to evaluate the proposal as a whole.”