Cyprus Mail

Students urge teachers to strike over four-monthly exams

High school students are calling for teachers to go on strike to protest against four-monthly exams while student union Psem will meet with the education minister on Tuesday to discuss pupils’ ongoing concerns over the new system of regular assessment.

“We will do our best to eliminate the four-monthly exams which will turn schools into test centres, increasing student anxiety,” said a statement from Psem.

On Monday, first grade students of one lyceum, Kykkos lyceum in Nicosia, carried out a spontaneous mini-strike of their own to protest. Although they were warned by the director not to go ahead, they abstained from a class in the third period at 9.30am.

Measures to fight the new exams are expected to be announced this week ahead of a referendum on November 11 when teachers will decide whether to strike over the new legislation.

Circulars issued by the education ministry in recent days confirm the problems in organising these examinations, head of the union Yiannis Lapithios told daily Phileleftheros, stressing the right way to evaluate students must be found by a proper dialogue, while the exams should be abolished.

According to Lapithios, stress levels for the first-grade students in high schools have risen since the system was implemented for the first time this year.

Students say their daily schedule is busier and there is more need for private tuition.

The four monthly exams will be introduced for students currently in the first grade of lyceum only, those in other grades will continue with the once yearly exams.

The first four-monthly exams are expected to take place from December 9 to December 19.

The education ministry reportedly announced last week that students who refuse to take the exams will fail and have to take the exams in September next year.

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