Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou on Wednesday refused parents’ request to invalidate what they called the ‘tragic’ results of the twice-yearly exams, saying the average score reflects the previous year.
There is no way the ministry of education will discuss cancelling the results of the first cycle of examinations, the minister told radio Trito in response to the demand of the Pancyprian federation of parents’ associations.
Meanwhile, parents have threatened to take legal action to protect their children.
Following the publication of the results, the federation described them as “tragic” on Tuesday and requested for them to be invalidated, adding they will address their demands to the new government.
But Prodromou said the results are not tragic as parents describe them, based on the education ministry’s data.
On the contrary, he added, the picture of the results is at the same level as last year. Comparing last year’s results of the same students who were in the second grade with this year’s, and the results of last year’s third graders with those of this year’s seniors, the average score, he said, is practically the same.
From the beginning, the introduction of the twice-yearly exams was accompanied by a myriad of protests by parents and students across the country. Implemented on a pilot basis over the past three years, last month was the first time Cyprus-wide exams were taken by children in all grades of high school.
Those results, which affect 40 per cent of student scores, sparked anew complaints by parents, who reiterated their demand for the institution to be abolished and for a new student evaluation system to be introduced.
The head of the Pancyprian federation of parents’ associations Loizos Constantinou said on Wednesday that the poor results were expected due to the extremely high level of difficulty, the size of the paper and the length of time it took.
This failure can only be attributed to the education ministry, not to the students, he noted.
He added that the organised parents do not recognise the results and for them the whole process is entirely invalid. Responding to a relevant question, the father did not rule out the possibility of going through legal channels.
Later on Wednesday, Akel MP Christos Christofides said the left-wing party submitted a law proposal to abolish the exams as of the next academic year. The proposal provides for a transitional period which indicates the examination for 2022-2023 will not count in students’ overall scores.
This institution is a complete failure, Christofides said, explaining this is the consensus of parents, students and teachers.
“We believe that it is perhaps the most critical issue of our education system today and it should be resolved immediately.”
If the new government follows the failed path of the previous government, the MP said Akel will promote the proposal for a law to “end this ‘cancer’” of the education system.
He added that the institution has taken the education system way back, it has loaded children and teachers with stress. On top of that, parents have to rush their children to private lessons, “those who can, of course, because the others just see them fail and cannot help them,” Christofides said.