Cyprus Mail

Parents oppose midterm exam plans, students want a referendum

THE umbrella federation of secondary school parents’ associations expressed their disagreement on the planned implementation of midterm exams in 2018, while students’ union Psem wants a referendum regarding school regulations.

In a statement, the parents’ federation said the proposal includes the separation of Pancyprian exams and university entrance examinations.

“This will be implemented in 2018? The (education) minister’s decision to postpone the application of the proposal for a year simply delays problems and does not solve them,” the statement said.

The federation demands ‘an intense and exhaustive dialogue’ before any such measures are taken, saying that an adequate training of teachers is not enough.

They are concerned what more exams will do to children and parents. “By implementing tests every four months, our schools will become lifeless examination centres. Children will become robots who are only concerned with good grades and parents will have to fork out more money,” the parents commented, reiterating their determination to protect children and public schools in whatever way necessary.

The subject will be discussed at the annual general meeting on Sunday when the federation’s next steps will be decided upon.

Justifying the changes, Education Minister Costas Kadis said midterm exams will be introduced in the first semester so that students can receive feedback on their performance and that they can work on their weaknesses.

Some of the changes, he said, will be implemented in 2018 “to give time for proper preparation of those involved”.

The ministry also faces opposition from student body Psem. The union announced they will hand out a referendum to all pupils in all schools between December 12 and January 12. The purpose is to obtain the opinion of all students on changes to school regulations.

Psem plans to present the results of the referendum to the education ministry in January.

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