The nursery and primary school in Kormakitis, the Maronite village in the north, will reopen in September for the beginning of the academic year, Education Minister Athina Michaelidou said on Wednesday.
The minister’s comments came after cabinet made the decision during its meeting, in which she explained it is a very important step for the community.
“This is a big moment as the school has been closed for over 20 years, it has been demolished and rebuilt… the ministry and the government strongly supports these efforts so that the [Maronite] community there can be reinvigorated,” Michaelidou said.
She conceded, however, that enrollment so far is very low – without providing a precise figure – but expressed the hope that the decision and subsequent announcement of the reopening will get the ball rolling.
“I must add that the entire year will be one in which we review the programme so that from May 2024 we can again look at the decision to operate the school,” the minister said.
She added that the school will follow the curriculum as set by the Republic.
An announcement from last April detailed that €1.2m in funding for the primary school alone was made available, with a further €450,000 for sports facilities.
The previous primary school in Kormakitis closed in 2000 due to a lack of students, symbolic of the declining population of the village.
The demolition of the previous school proved controversial however, as it was viewed as an iconic symbol of the community by some. Others, however, said that it was beyond repair – completely unsalvageable.
There were also complaints that the demolition was done hastily and without securing the required paperwork.