Secondary school students staged a two-hour boycott of classes on Friday on the instructions of students’ union Psem.
Banners reading “Take them back Minister,” referring to the twice-yearly exams, which were introduced by the education ministry a couple of years ago, were hung by protesting students.
In a post on Facebook, Psem said the boycott of the third and fourth periods at all secondary public schools represents “a warning strike to push the demands of Psem on twice-yearly exams.”
“Our request is clear. We demand an immediate abolition of the twice-yearly exams,” Psem president Gregoris Gregoriou said at the demonstration on Friday.
“Students all over Cyprus wanted to send a loud message to the government today. Should it be ignored, the two-hour boycott will be just the beginning of a long protest.”
In the past months, the union had vehemently opposed sitting exams twice a year, instead of once at the end of the school year as had been the practice and have fought the new regime that was approved by the legislature and enshrined in law.
Teaching unions and parents’ organisations are also opposed to the twice-yearly exams and have repeatedly called for the abolition of the January exams, with parents in particular calling for increased dialogue with the education ministry to find a common ground.
Abolition calls intensified during the pandemic, with students, teachers and parents all claiming there had been too much disruption in the children’s education.
So far, the demands have fallen on deaf years, as the education ministry has repeatedly refused to entertain the idea of scrapping the new regime and reverting to once-a-year exams.