Tension in the Ministry of Education for Test to Stay and cases in schools
Blood was shed at the extraordinary session of the parliamentary education committee
Blood was shed at the extraordinary session of the parliamentary education committee in the presence of the Minister of Education, Prodromos Prodromos.
The committee meets in the shadow of the pandemic in the school premises, the absences of students and teachers, the exams of four months but also the new announcements of the Government for the Test to Stay.
The minister received questions from AKEL MPs Christos Christofidis and Andros Kafkalias about the situation in schools.
MP Christos Christofidis stressed that these tests in schools have been implemented with paramedical staff in the US, in an environment with good ventilation and a high rate of vaccination of children, while he also wondered the paradox, as he characterized it, that a child can be in school until 13:30 but then must be quarantined.
Andros Kafkalias complained that the Government announced a tool for a system and is now running to cover its implementation weaknesses. "You are not ready to do what you said, because there was such a hasty announcement for the test to stay without studying if we have a way to do it, for example in the human resources, and now we are looking for who will do it," he said.
The Minister of Education replied to the deputies that "an additional measure has been proposed and a deputy comes and says not to do it… then not to do it… not to do even the vaccines that some extremists who say so… have".
"If there is a chance that the children while there is contact there is a safe way to be at school then we do it if it is to be home this solution we know," he said.
The task of tracking in schools is difficult
Answers for the tests and this decision were given by the epidemiologist Valentinos Silvestros. According to him, the situation with the opening of schools is very difficult.
"According to our data that we cooperate with the Ministry of Education to identify contacts, each student declares an average of 7 students within the school. It means that if yesterday we found 287 students, it means that 3000 students will stay at home, so in a week we are talking about some tens of thousands of students staying at home. That's why we were asked to find a solution to not have this phenomenon and we suggested the test to stay.
He noted that "there is something about which there is concern, while he said that" because we operate with statistics, to examine a child before entering the classroom is something that reduces the risk of transmission. "
Regarding the issues that exist, the Epidemiologist said that "we have to think about what we gain and risk it with this decision, but if our criterion is to keep the schools open with students inside, we can apply it at least on a pilot basis in some schools beyond." we will see how it will work, the situation is fluid ".
The position of POED
The educational organizations are also present at the session. From the point of view of POED, the president of the organization. Myria Vassiliou, complained to the Commission that they were informed about the test to stay by the statements of the Minister of Health and that there was no consultation.
Regarding the absences of teachers, the Minister of Education stressed that there is a constant number of absences of teachers in addition to the pandemic due to other diseases with a percentage of 3,7%. The minister described the situation as difficult since with the opening of the schools there was an absence of 8,6% of teachers and teachers while on the third day a absence of teachers of just over 9% was recorded.
However, he described the situation as manageable since the Ministry is taking all measures for replacements.
The start of the four-month exams is also a topic of discussion in the committee.
The Minister of Education said that the exams started today while answering a question about whether the criteria of the pan-Cypriot exams are met, he said that the teachers were not locked in a hotel but a high standard was kept and the safety valves were observed.