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Cyprus Education

Teachers unions say discussion still needed on distance learning

Photo: Christos Theodorides

Teachers unions on Sunday protested against passing on Friday by the House plenum of what distance learning was without any discussion with concerned parties beforehand.

Oelmek, Oeltek and Poed are calling on the House education committee to readdress the issue so all parties can be consulted and an agreement reached that is satisfactory to everyone.

The three unions sent a letter to the House education committee on September 2 outlining their position on distance learning and were expecting a discussion on the issue to begin, which “unfortunately did not happen,” their statement said.

The unions said distance learning means monitoring of the educational process through the use of technology, without violating in any way the personal data and privacy of the teachers and students.

After noticing the definition does not refer to the placement of cameras inside classrooms, nor has the manner and time of any retransmission been defined, the unions told the ministry and the House they will not accept in any way a breach of personal data (eg placement of cameras or sound equipment inside classrooms), as provided for in Regulation 2 016/679 of the European Parliament.

They called on the data protection commissioner to express an opinion.

They said a hybrid model whereby students would be taught both in the classroom and online makes the “teaching-learning process extremely difficult”.

The teachers also said there was a lack of necessary equipment for distance learning and that this type of education for children aged three to 18 is not scientifically supported by research data to support it is an effective educational process.

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