MPs will discuss the proposal for the abolition of the twice-yearly exams next week, a move that satisfied the demands of teachers, parents and students who resisted the new evaluation method.
“Everyone should know what the assessment process for students will be for the new school year,” House education committee chairman and Diko MP Pavlos Mylonas said, confirming discussions will start next Wednesday.
Apart from the new assessment method, the committee will discuss how much of the material taught will be included in the exams and how much those will contribute to the students’ final marks before proceeding with legislative regulation. It is understood that MPs disagree on the amount of the above percentages.
Earlier on Wednesday, teaching unions Oltek and Oelmek said they need details on the new assessment plan for 2023-2024 students following the abolition of the twice-yearly exams.
This will be announced by the end of this school year, according to the education ministry’s announcement the previous day.
Meanwhile, teaching union Oltek said on Wednesday they are satisfied with the new education ministry’s proposal for a different evaluation of high school students who should come to school to have a “good and constructive time”.
Under the education ministry’s proposal which was approved by cabinet, high school students sitting exams at the end of the school year will be questioned on 60 per cent of the material taught in public schools.
The twice-yearly exam in the second semester of the 2022-2023 will also correspond to 20 per cent of the student’s final mark instead of 40 per cent. Moreover, a monitoring mechanism has been put into place to supervise the subject matter and control the difficulty level of the examinations.
Instructions were provided to educators on the proper use of teaching time, while schools will be informed in detail with relevant circulars as soon as possible, the ministry said on Tuesday.
The announcement came after long-standing complaints over the extensive curriculum content under the twice-yearly exams, something which the new government pledged to change.
Oltek’s general secretary Lenos Loizou told CNA that the technical school teachers are satisfied with the recommendation of the education minister as the twice-yearly exams “did not serve the purpose which they were meant to serve to the extent they should”.
“But we should soon come up with a new assessment plan or build on the existing one so that this institution can serve its purpose.
“At last our schools should be a place of joy and learning for children. Children should come to school to have a good and constructive time,” he said.
A detailed update on the ministry’s proposal is also awaited by Oelmek, with general secretary Costas Hadjisavvas telling the Cyprus News Agency the board of the union is set to meet on Thursday to discuss the issue.
“We will wait for a more detailed briefing to be able to take a stand,” he said, noting that both the Oelmek and the parents’ associations have been asking for corrective measures “especially for our senior students…after what we experienced during the first examination”.
The first twice-yearly Modern Greek exam in January was interrupted after a private teacher had leaked certain topics of the exam, some hours before it took place.
Students then had to take a second exam that had been prepared, with about an hour delay from the initial time. A small portion of students who failed to sit the exam that day were permitted to take it again later that month.