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New headache for education sector with exam plans


The education ministry’s decision to go ahead with plans to implement exams on a four-monthly basis is threatening to disrupt the return of peace to the sector last week when teachers’ unions agreed to enter a dialogue on the issues.

This time students and parents bodies have chimed in to oppose the move to hold exams every four months.

Despite opposition, most notably from the confederation of parents of secondary and technical school students, the ministry said it would be full-steam ahead for the implementation of the four-monthly exams for students in the first and second grades of secondary school.

The confederation of parents of secondary and technical school students sent a letter to President Nicos Anastasiades last Thursday, asking him to suspend the application of the measure.

The following day, the confederation received a new proposal from the education ministry, which it will discuss in a meeting on Wednesday, while Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris said that if consensus was reached, the parents’ proposals will be included in the final procedure.

While the education minister expressed willingness to adjust the measure if necessary, he reasserted that the ministry was resolute in implementing the measure, with the first four-monthly exams to take place between December 10 and 21 this year.

The measure involves the implementation of two examination periods, one for each four-month semester of the school year, through which students will only be examined on the material covered in those four months.

Students in the first grade of secondary school will be examined on four subjects during each examination period, while students of the second grade will sit exams for five subjects.

Each school will hold its own exams, while examination papers will be the same for every school and will last 90 minutes.

Secondary school teachers’ union Oelmek will be meeting with secondary education principal Kyprianos Louis on Tuesday in order to be sufficiently informed of the developments.

Technical school teachers’ union Oltek, who were made aware of this decision last Friday, will be meeting and taking the necessary decisions on the matter on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, moreover, the agreement between the education organisations and the interministerial committee will be brought before the cabinet in view of continued efforts toward the streamlining of the educational system.

The government and public school teachers agreed last Wednesday to immediately start talks on the various problems faced by state education, apparently ending a dispute that started more than two months ago.

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