Cyprus Mail

No decision on dropping Archbishop’s name day as school holiday

holy synod 2
The Holy Synod

No decision has been taken yet on dropping the Archbishop’s name day from the annual list of school holidays, the education ministry said on Tuesday.

The matter was raised on Monday when the Holy Synod expressed the desire of Archbishop Georgios for schools not to close on his name day as Cyprus already has one of the shortest educational calendars in Europe.

The ministry had suggested the day instead be taken on January 7, which also met with resistance by the Holy Synod.

“Any decision on this matter will be made after consulting with its partners and taking into consideration the position of the Holy Synod,” the ministry said.

The Holy Synod meeting on Monday also concluded that sexual education in schools is of “utmost importance”, adding that proper guidance for children is imperative.

Its deliberations followed repeated concerns expressed by parents in recent months regarding how sexual education is taught in schools.

The new law on sex education, which came under fire from concerned parent groups, was approved at the end of last year and despite reservations about its constitutionality, came into effect with the start of the new school year in September.

The law sees children learn about sex at various levels throughout their schooling.

Last week, Archbishop Georgios has come out in favour of sex education, saying it is better for children to be enabled to protect themselves than to be left uninformed.

The Holy Synod reiterated the Archbishop’s positions, calling for specially trained educators to handle the sensitive subject.

“Children should be informed about sexual education from a young age to ensure their protection, with the materials presented tailored to the students’ age and maturity,” it said.

Furthermore, the Holy Synod announced its intent to closely monitor the content and delivery of sexual education across all levels of education.

It also expressed satisfaction with the education ministry’s promise to consider parental opinions, societal values, and sensitivities when revising the curriculum.

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