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Cyprus Education

Teachers union says no to midterms

Around two thirds of the 4,500 members of the secondary education teachers’ union Oelmek who took to the ballots on Thursday voted against the introduction of the midterm exams in high schools.

According to the union, 75.7 per cent of the 4,585 people who voted said they were against midterm exams in high schools which are to be introduced in September.

The newly-elected board of the union had said last December they would call their members to a referendum to state whether they agreed with the introduction of the midterms as the issue had caused serious friction within Oelmek.

The union had said that the result of the referendum was binding and would determine Oelmek’s stance in upcoming consultations between the education ministry and the House education committee on the new regulations.

Following the announcement of the results, Oelmek said it would “promptly proceed to a series of meetings with all competent parties to discuss the essence of the problems that arise from the implementation of this provision”.

Education Minister Costas Kadis said last week that the decision to introduce midterm exams was taken following studies and consultations with all interested parties, and that it is now state legislation, “and therefore its implementation is not an option of either the minister or anyone else”.

The union feels that new school regulations, that are to be introduced in the next school year, must be amended.  It feels midterm exams will fail the goals they aspire to and pupils will take even more private lessons.

The new regulations are deemed by the ministry as an important reform of the educational system as they contribute to a great extent to the streamlining of day to day school operations. The ministry maintains that the introduction of midterm exams will help students as they will receive feedback on their performance so that they can work on their weaknesses.

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