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Turkish Cypriot pupils declining in north’s schools

feature esra burak maviş of the cyprus turkish teachers trade union ktÖs
Burak Maviş of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union KTÖS

Turkish Cypriot pupils in the north have dropped by more than 50 per cent, head of Turkish Cypriot teaching union (Ktos) Burak Mavis said on Friday.

According to Mavis, the number of Turkish Cypriot students has dropped by 57 per cent, while the number of Turkish students has risen by a third.

Mavis said that the number of foreign pupils has risen 10 per cent, according to the press and information office.

He added that since there is no population policy or ‘citizenship policy’ there are problems in schools, as well as in all ‘public services’ of the north.

In his statement he added that there is an increase in the student population by at least five per cent, an increase in the number of four-year-olds, students with special needs and foreign students.

He also stated that there is an urgent need for new schools in the areas of Omorphita, Kioneli, Kyrenia, and Ayios Sergios and added that it is necessary to increase the number of linguists in schools in order to provide more effective education to some two thousand foreign students who need Turkish language teaching in primary education.

He added that the integration of foreign pupils cannot be achieved by focusing only on language skills and work should be done to provide social and cultural skills as well.

Mavis also said that they had observed that families did not participate in certain school activities and rejected the vaccination programme, citing their own beliefs and cultures.

Meanwhile, CTP head Tufan Erhurman, during a visit to the Kioneli primary school, said that the number of students who do not have Turkish as their main language is increasing in schools in each region.

“When we take over, our first job will be population policy,” he concluded.

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