By Annette Chrysostomou
Primary schools opened their doors on Monday after the summer break, and the minister of education and culture Costas Kadis assured the public that the beginning of the school year looked promising for the 49,500 children currently enrolled in primary state schools.
The minister took the opportunity to visit the elementary school and kindergarten
Apostolos Loucas in Strovolos. Speaking after touring classes, he welcomed the smooth start of the school year.
“The books are in schools and distributed today, building infrastructure is at a very satisfactory level, and as regards to staffing schools are at the best level in recent years,” he said.
This year, he added, special emphasis would be placed on the implementation of innovations which had been developed in the previous period regarding curricula, teacher training and the new system of appointing teachers.
An appeal calling for respect, compassion and acceptance for refugees was included in his message to students for the new school year, as he stressed it is impossible “not to observe what is happening in our neighbouring countries with one of the worst refugee crises since the second world war.”
“Large waves of refugees, children in the age of the children we visit today risk their lives at sea for a better future. It can only concern us and induce us to take all measures to nurture children, feelings of peace, acceptance, sympathy and compassion within the educational system,” he said.
In this context, Kadis also explained that the ministry of education was undertaking a series of actions that would lead in that direction. “The objectives of this year’s target include dealing with hatred, intolerance, racism and cultural acceptance culture within schools.”
Asked about the plans of the ministry in case of a mass influx of refugees, the minister replied that the education ministry had the responsibility to develop educational programmes for unaccompanied minors.
“We are ready to assume responsibilities that our share towards these children,” he concluded.