By Evie Andreou
SOON after unions had expressed their overall satisfaction earlier in the week with the proposed reforms announced by Education minister Costas Kadis, the reshuffling of teaching timetables has ignited spats between teacher associations of different subjects.
The first to object were computer science teachers who disagree with the proposed reduction of the weekly teaching hours of their subject by one period.
“The computer science branch has been wronged as teaching hours will be reduced,” Petros Gais, the head of their association said during a CyBC morning show.
Gais said he was disappointed with the chairman of teachers’ union OELMEK Dimitris Taliadoros and said that the latter does not represent all members since he did not properly inform the association of the ministry’s plans.
He added that due to the decrease in teaching hours, 30 to 35 computer science teachers will lose their posts.
He said that according to the ministry, the average computer science teaching hours after the reduction is 4.9.
“For the first time in its history, Cyprus is introducing a computer science and technology programme study,” Taliadoros said.
Gais said that even so, the services programme study, which prepares students for administrative posts, does not include computer science courses.
He added that according to the new timetable, Greek and ancient Greek language courses have been increased, instead.
Taliadoros, on the other hand, said that the association has the opportunity to express grievances and propose suggestions like the rest of the teachers associations by mid April when OELMEK will be called to discuss all these issues with the minister.
The reforms consist of the reconfiguration of the syllabus and timetables, which abolishes the unified education system in lyceums, introduced in 2000, and is expected to be implemented as of September 2015.
Furthermore, language and math teaching will be increased in primary schools and an extra period will be added to help children with learning disabilities.
Weekly teaching hours in gymnasiums will be reduced by two, while in lyceums, six programmes of studies will be introduced for students to follow according to their future career paths.
OELMEK said yesterday that the proposed time tables need improvement and that they disagree with the reduction of the weekly teaching hours in gymnasiums, as well as the lyceum timetable.
“Based on the Lisbon Convention, physical science in education is not being upgraded efficiently,” the announcement said.
Everyone’s efforts are to find a commonly accepted position for the benefit of the children and of public education, it said.
Kadis also met with the organised parents’ associations to inform them on the proposed reforms.
Parents said they would revert with their own suggestions.
The proposals (Greek only) can be found at http://www.moec.gov.cy/2014_nees_protaseis_paideia.html