Cyprus Mail
Education

Students to walk out of class in exam protest

Students group (Psem) announced on Wednesday they will be staging a two-hour walk out on Friday to protest plans by the education ministry to implement four-monthly exams as of the next academic year.

In response, the education ministry said on Wednesday that escalating benefits no one and primarily affects the students themselves.

The walk-out will be reconsidered if plans are revoked during their meeting with education minister Costas Hambiaouris on Thursday, Psem’s announcement said.

The students said that they have opposed plans to implement of four-monthly exams for the past three school years through a series of measures.

“Four-monthly exams will reinforce the assessment-centric outlook of schools which drive students into an endless chase for grades,” Psem said. “We do not want exam centres for schools, or schools centred on competition and parallel private tuition. We want a school which offers all-rounded education,” Psem said.

Psem met with the director of secondary schools on January 10 in an effort to persuade the government to revoke plans for four-monthly exams.

That the government has not done so, Psem said, proves that the ministry is ignoring its students, leading to their decision to stage a two-hour walk-out during third and fourth periods on Friday.

The students warned that stronger measures will be taken in the future.

In its response, the education ministry said that as part of the ongoing dialogue which has been launched with education organisations, parents and students, all sides will be heard so that educational reform can be carried out collectively.

“It’s logical that in a period of reforms, there will be concerns and oppositional views to the proposed changes,” the ministry said, adding that its aim is to come to an agreement to the greatest extent possible so as to reassure any concerns by the student body.

Initially, the government had announced plans to implement four-monthly exams in the current school year, which stirred heavy opposition from parent and student groups.

In October last year, the government had announced that it would postpone for a year the introduction of four-monthly exams in secondary state schools following opposition, though remained adamant in implementing them from September 2019.



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