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New bill for teacher appointments to go to parliament soon

By Evie Andreou

The bill for the new system of teacher appointments in public schools is expected to be tabled to parliament soon, education minister Costas Kadis said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the House Education Committee, Kadis said the bill is expected to be approved by the cabinet in their next meeting and then it will be sent to parliament.

According to the new education appointment system, part of the education reforms Kadis announced in March, the waiting lists for teacher appointments will be abolished by 2018 – list seniority will no longer matter and successful candidates will be chosen according to teaching experience and qualifications.

The majority of substitute teachers are to be appointed within the next three years and after that, educators will be hired based on merit with exams.

The proposal was accepted by secondary school teachers but primary teachers’ union POED has asked that the ministry waits until all substitute teachers are appointed before the new system is implemented.

The bill changes the outdated way appointments in the education system take place since experience, qualifications and knowledge will be taken into consideration instead of the candidate’s year of graduation, Kadis said.

With this new bill, Kadis said, a “window of opportunity will open to tens of thousands of young scientists” to claim a seat in the educational system “something which is impossible with the existing system”.

Substitute teachers are also taken into consideration in the bill, he said, and criteria are “unimpeachable… and do not allow in any way external intervention”.

The creation of an agency that will ensure the quality of tertiary education will also contribute toward the country’s goal of becoming a regional centre of higher education, Kadis said.

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