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Cyprus

Around 300 children at Trikomo school ‘don’t speak Turkish as first language’

feature tom main the plains of trikimo are coated with high rises but the infrastructure is not in place to support them 960x613
The plains of Trikimo are coated with high rises

Around 300 of the 700 children at the Bekirpasha high school in Trikomo “do not speak Turkish as their first language”, according to local ‘MP’ Biray Hamzaogullari.

Hamzaogullari, who belongs to opposition party CTP, was speaking on television to TV2020, and added “in some classes there are 14 children who don’t know Turkish and only nine who do. Among those 14 there are at least three different languages. How can a teacher give a lesson in these circumstances?”

“There needs to be preparatory classes for these children. The education ministry should have worked on this matter in time. They did nothing about it,” he said.

Trikomo has become a hotbed of foreign investment in recent years, with high-rises springing up in the areas of Long Beach and Bogazi, which straddle the village’s coastal flanks.

Apartments in the region are now selling for over £200,000 (€230,421), as nationals of Russia, Ukraine, Iran, and Israel invest in property in ever greater numbers.

With a large influx of people, their children must be educated somewhere, and many third-country nationals who settle in the Trikomo area elect to send their children to the local public schools.

However, teachers have long warned that children are being sent to school without being able to speak Turkish, and with a lack of available infrastructure and staff in the schools to give special education to those who do not speak Turkish, teachers are left to cope with multiple children in their classes who are unable to speak the language of instruction.

Moves are beginning to be made on the matter on the part of the ‘government’. Last weekend, ‘prime minister’ Unal Ustel and ‘education minister’ Nazim Cavusoglu both visited Bosnia and Herzegovina to take part in a conference on the matter of teaching Turkish to school pupils who have other native languages.

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