Society should stop considering technical education and training as a poor relative, Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris said at a press conference on upgrading technical education on Monday.
“The best gift we can give to our children for 2019 is to let them know about the possibilities and opportunities they have when they attend technical and vocational schools,” he said.
Treating this type of education as a poor relative is unfair, he added, saying the ministry is doing its best to reinforce the technical training sector and planning a series of campaigns aimed at informing the public about career prospects.
Hambiaouris said Cyprus needed to align education with the needs and demands of the domestic and international labour market.
“Vocational training leads to a high level of employment and fosters competitiveness, which is essential for economic growth,” he said.
Some measures are still in progress, such as the development of new curriculums and a modernisation of specialties offered by vocational and technical education and a further alignment of the programmes with the industry.
The expansion of the evening schools has already been completed, with the establishment of three new schools in Larnaca, Paphos and the Famagusta region, which will be operational in September 2019.
These will complement the two existing evening schools in Nicosia and Limassol and will facilitate access to education programmes for those who need a second chance to complete their secondary education.
The work on the construction of a technical school in Aradippou has begun. It is expected to start operating in 2022.
The new €20 million technical school in Limassol is scheduled to open in 2025.
New curriculums, such as ‘industrial and domestic automation’ in Nicosia, ‘pastry and bakery’ in Larnaca and ‘computer networks and communication’ in Paphos have been certified and started operating this year.
“For the first time this year, we have distributed modern books to students of several specialties, while an additional number of books are being evaluated for their use in the new school year, to cover all the specialties, ” the minister explained.