A primary school based in the Maronite village of Kormakitis is set to reopen in 2023, Presidential Commissioner Fotis Fotiou said on Tuesday.
The school has been closed since 1998 and the plan to reopen it is one of the main goals for the government, as part of its policy to support the Maronite community in the north, according to Fotiou.
“We have approved a support programme for young couples wishing to resettle in Kormakitis and the school is a vital part of it, as it is for every community in the world,” he said.
Fotiou also added that in two to three months the construction of sports facilities and a stadium in Kormakitis, a project worth €450,000, is set to get underway.
“We are taking important steps to help the Maronite community in Kormakitis,” he said, adding that the agriculture ministry has also recently announced a subsidy scheme for young farmers in the area.
Akel MP and chairman of the House refugees committee Nicos Kettiros praised the recent plans set in motion for Kormakitis, but reminded that there are still many issues faced by the community in the area.
“First of all, there should be more clarity regarding potential benefits for people planning to resettle in Kormakitis,” he said.
Regarding the reopening of the school, Kettiros said that at the moment there are 20 children in the village and, aside from a primary school, a kindergarten should also be opened in the area.
Furthermore, he said that during the committee’s visit to Kormakitis, interior ministry officials noticed that the community council building, which also hosts afternoon classes for children, is in dire need of refurbishment.
“At the moment, the building’s conditions are dangerous and classes should not be held there,” he said.
Another issue raised by Kettiros concerned Maronites who had been allocated a house in refugee settlements but did not yet manage to get a certificate of tenancy.
“We asked the prefect of Kyrenia to review the issue. Otherwise we will start working on a governmental proposal to solve the issue.”
Finally, Kettiros called on the ministry of social welfare to be more proactive in helping resettled Maronites in the area, after saying he received complaints from people in Kormakitis about unanswered calls.
Disy MP Marios Mavrides defended the government actions in support of the Maronite community in the north, saying the state has always helped people wishing to resettle in the enclave.
“We are constantly working on ways to convince Maronites, especially young couples, to return to their ancestral villages,” he said.