By Andria Kades
Education Minister Costas Kadis yesterday announced a series of new measures for the academic year that will include a new hotline to support students being bullied.
The school year which begins next week, year is also set to introduce a pilot scheme that professionally trains teachers throughout their years of service. Starting with 25 schools it will be reviewed and implemented across all schools for the year 2016 – 2017.
As of October 2 breakfast will be offered to needy students.
Last year there were 13,600 students eligible for the breakfast however between five to 20 per cent of them were not utilising it so there would be more careful selection of numbers this year he added.
Nevertheless almost 50,000 primary school students are set to roll out to school on September 14 while the gymnasium, lyceum and technical school students are set to start on Thursday.
Reiterating his optimistic rhetoric that everything was well prepared for the academic year, Kadis said over €30 million was being spent on school repair works with some 50 major projects and 30 smaller scale works expected to go on throughout the year.
In technical schools, new infrastructure provides for a further 300 students in popular fields of study. The total projects amount to 125 while 6,000 new computers and projectors are expected to be rolled out across all levels of education.
Next month, a new information guide is also set to be distributed in schools to help families prepare and plan around the work the students need to be doing. Across all districts on the island there will be new set ups for parent student dialogues.
Preschool teachers are also set to receive a guide to help them assess a child’s maturity to study in a primary school while there are greater efforts exerted this year to enable teachers to identify which students need more academic help.
Following a cabinet decision, 120 positions have been unfrozen in all levels of education meaning schools will be well staffed this year, Kadis said while all books from Greece have arrived.
Books currently being printed that will not be ready for the beginning of the new term are only a few but they will be provided to schools in electronic form and in hard copies by October.
This year, both students and teachers will be encouraged to volunteer while the targets are not only better grades but less racism and a culture of respect, Kadis said.
The new programme for this year outlines more teaching time in mathematics, Greek, English and physical education in primary schools while gymnaisums will have 38 teaching hours instead of 37.
Three music gymnasiums will start in three different cities and athletic ones in two different cities.