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Majority of teachers reject strike action over exams

Photo: Christos Theodorides

The majority of teachers on Monday morning decided not to stage work stoppages to protest against recently introduced four-monthly exams in high schools.

After 100 per cent of the votes were counted, it emerged that 55 per cent were against the strikes, while 45 per cent were in favour. As a result, the educators will not go on strike.

Of the 5,710 registered members of teacher union Oelmek 5,026 (88 per cent) voted while 684 (12 per cent) abstained. Some 2,718 teachers voted against strike action while 2,228 voted in favour.

According to a union announcement, the voting process was completed smoothly, as planned and without any problems.

The referendum in schools followed a decision by teacher Oelmek a week ago to put the matter to the vote.

But student union Psem on Monday called on students to protest against the exams by not attending classes on Tuesday during the third and fourth period.

On its Facebook site, the union warned if the ministry does not submit an amendment of the legislation on the four-months exams to the House without delay the students will move to more drastic measures in November and December.

School management responded by saying the students will be recorded as absent.

Circulars issued by the education ministry at the beginning of the school year confirm the problems in organising these examinations, head of the union Yiannis Lapithios said last week, 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 start on December 9.

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


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