Secondary teachers’ organisations on the island on Monday hailed the education ministry’s decision to scrap mid-term exams.

The education ministry on Monday decided to abolish the mid-term exam and maintain a central examination at the end of the academic year, with a weight of 30 per cent, presenting its proposal for the evaluation of students in Secondary General and Secondary Technical Education.

The proposal was presented by the Education Minister Athena Michaelidou, to teachers’ organisations, parents and students.

In her statements after the completion of the presentation, Michaelidou said that the main provision of the new evaluation system is its student-centred character. “It is based on basic paedagogical principles, is modern and flexible, reliable and valid and includes in great emphasis the multiple forms of student assessment, the alternative forms of student evaluation, those forms that allow each student to give his best. And these are not only written, they are also in the form of projects, in the form of creative assignments, quizzes, oral grade,” she said.

The minister noted that with the abolition of the central examination in January, there is a saving of useful educational time, while the syllabus remains divided into two semesters, so students will be graded in January and May. “We will have a main exam at the end of the year, and this is because with the two main exams valuable time was lost. Also, with a central examination at the end, we achieve the goal of having a reliable measurement that gives the system feedback,” she noted.

The minister said that the weight is divided into 30 per cent in the central written examination and 35 per cent in each semester.

Additionally, the minister noted that an electronic material bank is being created in the various courses, which will make it easier for students to see the material at any time.

“Multiple forms of student assessment empower children to show their best. We believe that with this modern exam, our students are really given the opportunity to improve their learning outcomes and have a fairer way of examining, both during the year and at the end”, she added.

Michaelidou said the proposal must be submitted and approved by the Council of Ministers and before going to Parliament for voting to be ready for the beginning of the school year.

The minister also noted cutting parts of the syllabus material deemed irrelevant. “We remain on the essential, the important, the prerequisites for each course and this effort will be continuous over a period of three years,” she said.

Michaelidou noted that the whole effort will be evaluated systematically over the course of three years.

For his part, secondary school teachers’ union Oelmek president Constantinos Constantinopoulos said he was pleased that many of the suggestions we had sent in early March to the minister are included in the proposal. “We initially reflect positively this proposal presented to us and we are at the disposal of the ministry to contribute to the consultation that will follow to see some details, which with goodwill and good we will be able to find the best solutions for the good of children, teachers and the public school,” he said.

Meanwhile, the president of the technical teachers’ organisation Oltek, Panagiotis Lysandrou noted that they will study the proposal and make suggestions so that it can be implemented in a way that will really offer to students. “According to us, this examination could be kept under certain conditions, for reasons that we have mentioned many times,” he said.

Lastly, president of the Parents’ Associations of Public Secondary Schools, Loizos Constantinou, expressed his satisfaction with today’s presentation.

“We want a humane, functional school, a school that will acquire color and vitality, with fewer tests, alternative forms of assessment, something modern for our children that will bring them, and our country, into the new era. We view the suggestions positively and we are confident that within days, with this climate that prevails with all stakeholders, there will be a relative conclusion to move forward,” he said.