Cyprus Mail

Cabinet-appointed committee to oversee teaching appointments

A three-person panel, tasked with overseeing the implementation of the new appointment system for public-school teachers, was created by the cabinet on Wednesday.
The new system, which comes into effect this year, aims at gradually phasing out the old system, which ranked candidates according to a waiting list based on graduation year alone, and replacing it with an exams-based evaluation method.
“Implementation of the new system is coming along as planned, and very positive elements have emerged through the assessment of candidates’ characteristics,” education minister Costas Kadis said.
“Among other findings, 55 per cent of candidates hold a post-graduate degree – masters or doctoral – while 80 per cent of the 5,500 candidates are aged under 35.”
In contrast, he added, the reverse appears in the old appointments list – 80 per cent of candidates are over 35, the minister added.
Former supreme court chief justice Akis Hadjihambis will chair the panel, flanked by University of Cyprus professors Mary Koutselini and Costas Christou.
“This body will oversee the entire process and review any objections or problems it comes across,” Kadis said.
“We will have a meeting with the panel in the coming days, so that we can establish the oversight procedure.”
The dates of the first exams will be announced shortly, the minister said, but in any case they will be held sometime in the first half of November.
The new process will offer candidates a significant probability of success, somewhere around 12 or 13 per cent, meaning “one in eight successful exam-takers will be hired, either permanently or on contract”.
Asked to comment on the fact that Greek nationals are prevented from sitting the exams, since they are going to be held over three weekends, Kadis said this was never the intention.
“We just want to organise the exams properly,” he said.
“They will be held while our schools are open, and exams for each subject will be scheduled in a single weekend. We believe that people who are seriously interested will have no problem sitting the exams they want.”
The number of Greeks who have expressed an interest in taking the exams is 355, Kadis added, noting that “this refutes concerns expressed that we would have been inundated with Greeks, who would take the jobs of Cypriot applicants”.
“In fact, in the old appointments list the proportion of eligible Greek nationals who put their name down for appointment is double what it is in the new one,” he said.

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