Students in secondary education along with their parents protested outside the Paphos education ministry’s office on Friday, over the ongoing spat on twice-yearly exams.

“There’s way too much material for students to study and there’s no time to cover it in schools. On Monday right after Christmas, we’ll be running to take our kids to private lessons and when schools open they have exams,” one protestor told the Cyprus Mail.

“My son has six exams in one week and he’s in the second year of high school. In one day he has an exam in physics, chemistry and biology. After we protested against that, they agreed to move one exam to another day.”

Around 70 parents were at the protest, she said to highlight that the idea of having twice-yearly exams is simply too much for the children.

“They won’t enjoy the holidays and by the time the exams finish, they get right back to studying for the next round of upcoming exams. They don’t even have five minutes to breathe.”

She said the parents association has delivered a letter to the ministry with their requests.

Their protest follows a similar course of action in Limassol after parents and students in two schools threatened to shut down schools earlier in the month.

In a letter to the education minister, parents associations of Limassol’s Lanition school and Apostolos Petrou kai Pavlou school called on the minister to adapt the curriculum to the reality on the ground and significantly reduce it.

State secondary school teachers’ union Oelmek on Thursday complained that decisions taken at the ministerial level were overturned or not implemented at lower levels of the hierarchy and threatened to take action if something was not done about it.

Oelmek said the syllabus for the four-month exams in January has not yet been announced, despite the fact that in a recent meeting between the union and the ministry, it was agreed that this would be done no later than December 21.

It added that this exacerbates the uncertainty, anxiety and stress of students and teachers.

The union is requesting an immediate meeting with the minister of education.