Cyprus Mail

Final bill for new teachers to go to the vote on Thursday

By Evie Andreou

Following intensive discussions at House committee level, the final draft of the bill covering the new appointment system in education will be tabled for a plenum vote on Thursday, Education Minister Costas Kadis said on Tuesday.

The proposal, Kadis said, “will revolutionise the educational sector of the country, after many years of operation of an outdated system”.

After pressure from teachers’ unions, the transitional period was extended from 2022 to 2027 to ensure that as many, if not all, substitute teachers will be given a permanent post.

If the bill is passed, from September and until 2018, all appointments will be made according to the existing system, based on list seniority, and from then on until 2027, half of appointments will be made with the old system and half with the new system, based on merit.

Kadis said from the appointment of teachers based on list seniority, the island will move toward the evaluation of candidates based on skills, qualifications and experience.

The final draft provides that in the written exam that will test knowledge, an aptitude test is included which will help evaluate each candidate’s skills and also test their Greek language skills.

“Merit on academic qualifications has been reduced and the rest of criteria with very small differences remain the same as in the original proposal,” he said.
He said he hoped it would be passed by the plenum on Thursday so the transitional periods can be implemented from September.

Acting committee chair Andreas Themistokleous said candidates will be awarded points according to the grade of their degree and for additional qualifications, graduate or postgraduate degrees, extra points will be given.

Experience will also be awarded with 20 points and army service with three points, while seniority in appointment lists will also be awarded with ten points.

He said that the bill “has covered everyone” and that the majority of substitute teachers will be given permanent posts.

Themistokleous expressed his reservations and said he believed some parties might table amendments on Thursday.

The changes provide that the best educators will be chosen to man public schools, he said. “This issue was handled by the ten previous education ministers and no one achieved what the current minister did, in cooperation with the House Education committee”.

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