The challenges related to immigrant students will be addressed as of September, Education Minister Athena Michaelidou said on Friday after she completed consultations with school headteachers.

The round of discussions with heads of all levels of education confirmed some of the challenges that schools are faced with, but also the important work done in public schools, the minister told CNA.

She was speaking after she met the headteachers of primary and nursery schools of the Limassol district at the Linopetra high school on Friday morning. This was her final meeting with school staff ahead of the summer holidays.

“The next round [of consultations] will follow, starting in September, where we will visit schools, to see specific actions so that we can promote them for purposes of information and, above all, training for the rest of the teachers,” Michaelidou said.

Among the issues to be discussed after the summer are the head teachers’ working hours, the issues that emerge from the influx of immigrant students. According to data shared during a recent ad hoc committee on demographics, there are no Cypriot students at three Nicosia schools, while at 17 out of the 22 schools of the capital over 90 per cent of the students are non-Cypriots.

Special education, on which work has already started, will also be addressed in September, the minister said.

She added that communication with the headteachers was very helpful.

“I think they appreciate very much the fact that they are considered a key source of information for us,” the education minister said.

Meanwhile, pending remains the issue on the high school students’ evaluation following the abolition of the twice-yearly exams. Parliamentarians in the house education committee have invited the minister to attend their next meeting on Wednesday to finalise their decisions.