By Evie Andreou
Students said they were taken by surprise by the composition element of their compulsory Modern Greek exam which was sat by 8,619 teenagers islandwide on Monday.
Modern Greek was the first in a series of exams towards the school leaving certificate which all students must take to graduate and gain access to all higher education institutions. A total of 5,902 are seeking to enter universities both in Cyprus and Greece.
Although the education ministry said the first day of the exam season went smoothly students and parents expressed their discontent with the essay section of the Greek exam saying it was difficult to comprehend.
The first part of the essay question stated:
“Inside this global framework, which is fluid and turbulent, our country remains a special case as always. It went through a lot during this period, but it seems to have learned little. However, in recent years, it is going through a historic moment: the end of the delusions.”
A qualifying sentence following the statement clarified that students were expected to explain the delusions Cypriots had experienced until the crisis of 2013 and how their demise had affected people’s everyday lives.
After the exam, students told CyBC that even though they thought the exam paper was overall easy, they had found the composition subject very difficult.
For some, however, the problem was not just the composition.
“Those who prepared the exam paper basically shot students, by taking 30 to 40 minutes from their valuable time, because it was badly written and very difficult to comprehend,” parent and Modern Greek teacher Dimitris Kyriakou told CyBC.
Another complaint, he said, was that the paper also exceeded “the three-literary texts rule” since students were asked to elaborate on more than three literature texts.
Exam subjects are set by the relevant committee, the head of the examinations service of the ministry of education Terpsa Konstantinidou told Cyprus News Agency (CNA).
“I cannot be the judge of this and say if it’s right or wrong,” Konstantinidou said.
She added that all queries concerning the specific exam paper should be made directly to the ministry’s secondary education Modern Greek exams committee.
According to Konstantinidou, each student is allowed to opt for seven subjects, four for university access, and three to access higher technical schools. The exams will be completed on June 12.
According to the ministry, this year’s examinations provide facilities for about 724 persons with special needs.