Decisions on the evaluation of high school students following the abolition of twice-yearly exams should be taken before the summer holidays, House education committee chairman Pavlos Mylonas said on Wednesday.
Several issues have come up regarding how students will be evaluated as of September, Mylonas said, following a session of the House education committee. These concern the timetables, the syllabus and which 60 per cent of the teaching material will be included in the exams.
MPs will reconvene next Wednesday, in a session expected to be attended by the education minister, to finalise their decisions.
For his part, Akel MP Christos Christofides said his party was right to object to the way twice-yearly exams were being carried out and that others “were wrong” and they have to “apologise to thousands of students and thousands of parents for the destruction they have caused over the years to the education system”.
He said the new evaluation system will not resolve all problems in education but that it is a step forward.
Other MPs highlighted the need to agree on and publish the details of the new system so that teachers, students and parents can prepare on time.
Disy MP Giorgos Karoullas said the right-wing party supports the operation and establishment of a productive, reliable and objective evaluation system for secondary education. He noted that it is important that the syllabus and examination syllabus be announced with full clarity as soon as possible and that the teaching material reflect the actual teaching time.
The aim is to pass the regulations before parliament closes for the summer on July 15, Dipa MP Alekos Tryphonides said, noting that the syllabus should be decided now to avoid misunderstandings and confusion during the exam period.
Among the issues are objections related to the changes in the history and biology exams.
Independent MP Andreas Themistocleous said he disagrees with the abolition of the exam on biology and history for first grade secondary students, because this means, he said, the lessons are devalued.
He said children in the first grade are “already plagued by other kinds of exams” and “nothing happens to them”.
The Cyprus Biological Society submitted a memorandum to the House Education Committee on Wednesday referring to a “significant downgrading” of biology in the first grade of high school due to the relevant proposal. The society proposes that the subjects to be tested in the first grade of high school should be the three subjects of the PISA international examination, namely Modern Greek, Mathematics and Biology.