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Three school safety measures approved by cabinet

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Three new safety measures for public schools were approved on Tuesday by the cabinet, including the installation of fences and intercoms, according to Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris.

“As a government, we consider issues regarding the health and safety of our students to be of the highest priority,” Hambiaouris said following the meeting.

The first measure concerns the issuing of a card which will enable the entrance and exit of individuals authorised to collect students during school hours.

“The holders of this card will be authorised persons who will have to present the card either to the school secretary, or to the principle, or to the teachers, in order to be able to collect students during lesson time,” Hambiaouris said.

The card will be issued by schools and information will soon be sent out by the education ministry outlining how it will be used, he added.

The second security measure concerns the fencing off of schools and the installation of intercoms, while the third measure concerns the placing of guards in kindergartens and primary schools from 7am to 8am.

“Studies recording the needs of each school have already been carried out by school officers, and we will be proceeding immediately,” Hambiaouris said.

The three measures will cost a total of €10 million, while more measures will be announced soon in view of the ongoing discussion of the education ministry’s health and safety committee.

All three measures which have now been approved by the council of ministers had been decided in a meeting last Thursday between the education ministry, teacher organisations, and parents.

The need to upgrade security in public schools was highlighted two weeks ago, when a man walked into 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.

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