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Afternoon schools expanded to gymnasiums across the island

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Students will be able to attend afternoon schools in gymnasiums across the island as of the coming academic year, Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said on Friday.

A gymnasium in every district will operate afternoon school on a pilot basis, the minister announced, while information material has been distributed to parents of primary school students and teenagers attending first grade of secondary school.

The expansion of the scheme preceded “the successful operation and very positive results” of the implementation of the new institution on a pilot basis last year at the Pancyprian gymnasium in the capital. There, 34 first grade students at various Nicosia secondary schools attended.

It also follows the “very good results” of the operation of an afternoon school at the Lanitio secondary school in Limassol.

Hence, it was decided that the next academic year, afternoon schools will also operate at the Nikolaidio secondary school in Paphos and Paralimni gymnasium, as well as Evriviadio gymnasium in Larnaca.

Prodromou noted that there are no additional classes at the afternoon school but mainly activities where students have a “leading role”.  The activities are chosen by the children themselves together with their teachers, the minister said.

He added that there is an emphasis on the Greek language, with opportunities to use the language through research and through the use of language in an interdisciplinary approach as well as by engaging children in projects.

All activities are integrated through tasks, which are not only followed but to a large extent guided by the children themselves, Prodromou said. He stressed that this content is cultivated through alternative peadagogical methods, different from formal teaching, with children’s participation and initiative.

The afternoon school is addressed “to children who want to develop their personality through broader knowledge, which knowledge they learn first of all to seek and evaluate themselves”. They are also addressed to parents, “who want more and not less for their children,” Prodromou said.

Once the trial phase of its operation is completed, the institution can be evaluated and decisions can be made on the extent to which it can operate, the minister added.

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