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Cyprus Education

Teachers unions upset over plans for study on state schools

 

Teachers unions are concerned about the Council of Ministers’ decision to approve the hiring of consultants to carry out a study of state schools.

The unions voiced their concerns after the Cabinet appointed a technical committee consisting of members of the education ministry and asked consultancy firm Ernst & Young to undertake a study with the purpose of evaluating the best utilisation of the teaching staff, but also possible savings.

“We can talk with anyone,” Filios Fylaktou president of primary school union Poed said on Tuesday, “we strongly believe in dialogue. The minister says they are going to ask us for our input and we hope they won’t make any decisions without our input and hide behind this committee.”

He feels the same thing could have been done without the consultancy firm. “People in the ministry and teachers could have been asked. We have many things to discuss and suggest,” he said. “We already have the Joint Educational Service Personnel Committee (Mepey) and they are the ones to do this job.”

“We don’t recognise the chosen organisation. We demand equal participation. We could have jointly decided on a body or the ministry and the teachers could have decided on one each,” he added.

Secondary school union Oelmek also has reservations. “What we expect are the terms under which the committee will work. If they are going to examine our work in an objective and scientific way what they will be confronted with is that our work has many more sides than is being credited for,” president of Oelmek Dimitris Taliadoros said.

The plan is to study data supplied by the education ministry and compare them to those in other European countries. The consultants will meet with all stakeholders, including educational organisations and write a report with their recommendations. The recommendations will be put to the technical committee and a proposal for the cabinet will be prepared.

 

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