The adoption of a series of measures to raise security levels, including installing fences in schools, is underway it was announced on Thursday following a meeting between the education ministry, teacher organisations, and parents.
“The ministry of education will proceed immediately to fence off all schools, to install intercoms to control entry, and to assign guards to primary schools and kindergartens from 7 am to 8 am,” the head of health and safety at the education ministry, Elias Markatzis, said.
The need to upgrade security in public schools was highlighted last Tuesday week when a man walked in a primary school in Larnaca and convinced two 11-year-old boys to follow him. The man later said he was planning to hold the boys to ransom.
In what Markatzis described as a “very fruitful” meeting, the parties present continued discussions regarding health and safety in schools, which began during a spat in the education sector this summer, when education organisations and organised parents conducted studies from which suggestions on improvements emerged.
“The other part of the meeting was based on the recent abduction of the two children from school…which has created additional worries” regarding safety, Markatzis said.
Teachers will also be subject to training so as to be better equipped to empower children and to make them more suspicious in view of possible dangers.
The committee also discussed the possibility of creating of a card that will be issued by the school and be given to the persons authorised to pick up children from school, Markatzis said.
Following the recent abduction, Markatzis said that “it seems that we are entering a new state of affairs, and these measures will be adopted precisely in order to respond to this new state of affairs in our society.”