Biology teachers staged a two-hour work stoppage on Tuesday morning to demand the introduction of labs in the currently theoretical biology courses taught at public secondary and high schools.
The demonstrators put up banners in protest the “uncompromising and unwavering attitude” of the education ministry outside the high schools Acropolis in Nicosia, Lanitio in Limassol, Drousia in Larnaca, Kykkos in Paphos and Paralimni high school in Famagusta.
According to the announcement from the biologists’ branch of Oelmek teachers union, the education ministry has repeatedly expressed the need to introduce experiments in the biology course since 2015, however, it does not “take the slightest action in this direction”.
The teachers said this is a “pedagogical issue” and they “will not back down”.
They added that since 2000, five other lessons, some of which are related to biology, have started providing labs as well.
Despite the schools being equipped with “all the necessary devices, instruments, and consumables” the education ministry has suggested that students watch visual experiments instead in the context of biology, the teachers said, describing such ideas as “dangerous and anti-pedagogical”.
The biologists reiterated that the course is by nature a laboratory course, and this is how it is taught across Europe.
The association added that is “ready to take further measures” if the ministry does not proceed to introduce labs for the first year of secondary school students over the next academic year.