The cabinet on Thursday voted to give temporary teachers who have worked for more than 30 months open-ended contracts.
Education Minister Costas Kadis said the move means all objections to the new appointment system have been removed. Teachers and unions had staged protests in April to demand secure contracts for temporary teachers before the new, merit-based system kicked in.
Kadis said the government’s position had always been that teachers on temporary contracts should be treated with sensitivity.
“We have done it with the procedures and facts we had before us and taken the advice of the legal service, and I believe that this development removes all the reservations about the full implementation of the new appointment system,” he said.
“We are preparing for the first exams under the new system next autumn,” Kadis said, referring to the new system under which candidates for teaching positions will have to sit exams and will not be appointed from waiting lists, as was the case before. The first written exams are to take place between September and December.
Kadis also said that Cyprus is going to have a comprehensive youth strategy for the first time.
“it is an important day for education, as after many months of efforts Cyprus has for the first time acquired a coherent and integrated strategy for youth which touches all the issues concerning young people,” he said.
He added that the strategy is being designed by young people themselves, not technocrats, in a process co-ordinated by a youth organisation with 3,000 members.
President Nicos Anastasiades will present the youth strategy in full on May 30, but it will extend to 29 summers schools to support parents who have nowhere to leave their children during this time, bringing the total number of children in summer school to 3,000.