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Cyprus Education

Students to protest outside parliament over new regulations

Secondary-school student body Psem announced on Thursday it would stage a protest on Friday outside the parliament to express their discontent over the new regulations being put to a vote by the House plenum the same day.

In an announcement, Psem said that the new regulations will take public schools years back by overturning previous efforts aiming at a “real education reform”.

Students cited a survey they carried out in November among 13,500 pupils whose findings reveal that the majority objects to the introduction of final exams at the end of each semester, which is the major grievance of Psem as regards the new regulations.

“More than 13,500 students in 46 … schools sent out a clear message against turning schools into examination centres where we would chase after grades instead of knowledge,” the announcement said.

Psem said that their request to the House education committee to be allowed to attend their meetings when the new regulations were been discussed, had not been granted.

The education ministry said last month, when it was presented with the student survey, that the ‘referendum’ the union organised, could, under no circumstances, be considered valid since some of the questions were pointless, while others were phrased in a misleading manner, “resulting in obscuring the true will of the students”. It also said that it has had an exhaustive dialogue with all stakeholders, including Psem, as regards the new regulations and that it was now up to the House plenum to decide as to the adoption of the bill in question.

Higher education student body Pofen said that it too would participate in the protest in support of Psem because the changes in education being promoted “have substantially suspended permanently educational reform and, in its place, measures were being imposed that would lead it in the opposite direction”.

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