By Evie Andreou
EDUCATION minister Costas Kadis on Wednesday announced the implementation of the new school timetables, which will be introduced in the new school year in September.
The announcement marks the end of an intense dialogue between the ministry, teachers’ unions and parents’ associations that begun right after the announcement of the education reform proposals in March.
“We must proceed, because we cannot deprive one more series of students of the opportunity to enter a modernised lyceum. Any further delays would precisely lead to this outcome,” Kadis said.
The new timetables provide the increase of teaching periods from 37 to 38, and small modifications concerning the distribution of teaching periods according to subject and selective courses.
The reconfiguration of the syllabus and timetables abolishes the unified education system in lyceums, introduced in 2000, and introduces six new programmes of study: humanities, foreign languages and European studies, applied sciences that include technology and computer science, economics, services and fine arts. Furthermore, music and sports lyceums will be established in every town.
“In one of these directions, students, except from the core courses, will have to also take four elective courses,” Kadis said.
He added that the ministry has already started to inform schools and students, who will also participate in group and personal meetings with teachers and student councillors. Parents will also be informed.
Kadis said that soon, his ministry is to announce reforms concerning technical education but that at the moment technical schools will continue to operate under the same programme.
He added that procedures are underway for the implementation of the new teacher appointment system and teachers’ evaluation and training programmes.
Kadis said that his ministry adopted several changes proposed by teachers’ union OELMEK.
Student body PSEM, however, announced that it would be better for the new timetable to be implemented in September 2016, after “a substantial dialogue” is initiated since they expressed their disagreement with some of the changes and said that their suggestions should also be taken into consideration.
To better inform the public about the new timetables, Kadis said the Education ministry will distribute fliers and utilise social media. Between May 11 and June 3, interested parties may also call the information hotline on 80002121 between 8am and 7pm.