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School exam saga continues as education committee set to have extraordinary session

prodromou 3
Minister of Education, Prodromos Prodromou

The House education committee will have an extraordinary session on Thursday to discuss the ongoing spat over school exams and why a private school is exempted from them.

Parliament is currently in recess until the presidential elections, though an announcement on Tuesday said the committee would be having a snap session to be informed about private schools.

The session will be centred around Forum Premedical private school, which has been caught in the crossfires of an ongoing spat between unions, parents and the education ministry over twice-yearly exams.

The introduction of the exams has sparked a myriad of protests across the country, with parents threatening to shut down schools.

It appears Forum Premedical private school has been exempted from the obligation to roll out exams twice a year to its students.

This has further angered an already frustrated group of unions, parents and students, which have described this as a display of inequality.

The education ministry sought to explain that there are private schools which fall under the category of being ‘similar’ to public schools but not the ‘same’. The former category allows them to be exempt from the exams, however unions disagreed saying the private school – which prepares students for medical school – is the same type as public schools.

In a meeting on Monday, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou met with unions Oelmek, Oltek and parents associations to discuss the matter.

He said the matter was being handled at an administrative level at the ministry but there is a broader issue of the legal framework surrounding the private school categories in their relation to public schools. They are: same, similar or different.

The wording of ‘similar’ types of private schools is unclear and inadequately described, Prodromou said. This is something the ministry has in mind and the minister heard several suggestions from attendees on how to solve this.

Prodromou refrained from discussing what steps will be taken, saying talks are still ongoing.

Members of the education ministry, the legal service, Oelmek union, parents associations and representatives from the school will be attending the House education committee.

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