Cyprus Mail

Public schools better prepared than ever before, says ministry

Primary school children

THE education ministry is ready for the start of the new school year, the head of the ministry’s primary education department Christos Hadjiathanasiou said on Friday.

He referred to the building infrastructure, books, school canteens, curricula, programmes for the disabled and staffing.

“The staffing of schools is almost complete. Very few, unusual pending issues and changes that may occur will be settled within the month and certainly on time,” he said.

Regarding the buildings, they are currently being checked by the technical services so necessary repairs can be made before the start of the school year.

As for books and other teaching material, they are ready and have either already been distributed to the schools or will be delivered before school starts and revised curricula will be implemented during the year.

During the next school year, the free breakfast programme for students in need will continue and for the first time organic products and food for children with special dietary needs such as those with diabetes will be offered in school canteens.

An increasing number of all-day schools will give children the opportunity to engage in activities for which there is no time in the mornings while helping parents who work and they will also help with the employment of teachers.

He also elaborated on what has changed since last year, saying that schools will have the opportunity to operate more autonomously as the objectives of the school year will not be centrally defined by the education ministry.

“From this year on, each school will set its own objectives, tailored to the particular needs and demands of its pupils and the school unit, within the framework of the education ministry policies and the ongoing effort to maximize learning outcomes and the cultivation of attitudes and skills necessary for the learning and further development of pupils,” he explained. “This innovation is expected to help each school separately to support its students, upgrade their school environment, improve their daily routines and, above all, the daily routines of their students, and generally improve the efficiency of the school.”

There will also be an increased emphasis on the training of teachers according to the needs of each school, keeping in mind the need for training of teachers for children with special needs.

In the next school year, 50,952 children are expected to attend public primary schools and 11,749 public kindergartens.

It is estimated that 4,398 teachers and 785 nurses will be employed, plus 729 special teachers. Of the teachers 4,264 will be permanent staffers and 134 on temporary contracts.

Schools will start on September 11, Hadjiathanasiou announced.

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