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Cyprus

Lack of video allows kids to log into class but shirk lessons  

Photo (Philip Mark)

The absence of video during remote teaching means many students log in to lessons but are actually not there following them, the President of the Association of Secondary Education of Cyprus (Sedmek) George Josephides said on Tuesday.

“It is the fault of the personal data legislation that we do not have a picture of the students at home,” Josephides said.

He said a number of students connect with the lesson, but they might not even be in front of the computer. “I am afraid the number of those students will increase with time,” he said.

Josephides added that unless the issue is resolved, many parents will start complaining over the failure of teachers to provide proper education online.

“A portion of parents will complain that the teaching material was not covered remotely,” he said.

Remote teaching is applied to high school students in Limassol and Paphos districts that are under lockdown.

According to previous statements of the commissioner for the personal data protection Irene Loizidou Nikolaidou, her office has been expecting a risk assessment report for distance learning from the education ministry for months to allow the use of video.

“The most important issue is with the way we provide e-learning right now,” Josephides said, adding that the transfer to remote teaching has been smooth overall.

Other minor issues involved the old equipment provided by the schools to the teachers. This was resolved by some of them using their personal laptops and computers.

In his statements the president of teachers’ union Oelmek Themis Poliviou, said there were some technical issues with the internet and the equipment which were resolved.

To avoid any issues, teachers from other districts will not be travelling to Limassol or Paphos, Poliviou said.

“I had a personal phone communication with the minister, who realised that this measure will help and decided that teachers travelling to those towns will not be going,” Poliviou said.

Head teachers and administrative staff will still attend the school to carry on their other duties.

According to education sources, around 5,000 students islandwide followed remote teaching until November 11.

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