The referral of the 2022 amending Law on Primary and Secondary Education (compulsory attendance and provision of free education) was considered on Wednesday in an extraordinary session by the Education Committee of the Parliament, in the presence of the Minister of Education, Sports and Youth, Prodromos Prodromos. On the subject, the parties will be placed in the Plenary in the afternoon, while the Committee has decided to make some changes.
The President of the Republic sent the Law for review with a relevant letter to the Speaker of the Parliament, on December 22. The above Law was passed by the Parliament on December 2.
In his letter, the President of the Republic states that among the reasons for the impeachment is that during the discussion of the bill submitted by the executive power, amendment (4c) was added, which "seems to exclude the right of the citizen to register the child of him in a private nursery school, if he wishes and conflicts with Article 2(1) of the relevant legislation".
It is also noted that the passing of subsection 4(c) creates insurmountable difficulties in the implementation of the project to expand free compulsory pre-primary education, as agreed with the European Commission and provided for in the Recovery and Resilience Plan, "Cyprus of Tomorrow".
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Education Committee, Pavlos Mylonas, in his statements said that the Committee decided to make some changes with the agreement of the Minister and the Legal Service.
He noted that the parties will be placed in the Plenary.
"However, we have reminded in all tones both as President and as a Commission the inadmissibility of the a la carte search for a policy basis to reject or refer a law proposal by the President of the Republic", he added.
He mentioned, at the same time, that they had before them a "theater of shadows" from the presidential point of view, that is to refer the legislation on Pre-Primary Education, "a very sensitive issue concerning public education and on the other hand, to turn a blind eye for political reasons and to proceed with not signing the referral on the subject of sexual education".
As he said, there are two standards that do not honor anyone as an institution.
"So we too in the Plenary will position ourselves according to the decisions of the Parliamentary Groups", he added.
AKEL Member of Parliament Christos Christofidis, in his statements, said that it is clear that the Government insists on its position, so that it can send children to private kindergartens either before 2026 or after ΄26 with the voucher policy and the wording, which has finally been included and will go to the Plenary, that's exactly what it says.
It is the initial position of the Government, Mr. Christofidis continued, in other words.
"So, in our opinion, either the Plenary will open a window for the privatization of compulsory public education with a perennial voucher policy or it will not accept the impeachment of the President", he added.
Mr. Christofidis mentioned that there are two roads.
“Beyond that, our position is against the war on public school and let everyone take their responsibilities. I want to say that there is neither a socialist party nor a centrist party in the world, which accepts the neoliberal policy of coupons", he added.
Mr. Christofidis said that "I want to close by highlighting a report by the Minister of Education, today to the Education Committee, that the only obligation we have towards the EU and the Recovery and Resilience Fund is the expansion of pre-primary education".
"This sophistry with the policy of vouchers is a political decision of the Government of Alarm and it could very well be in the context of public education that this commitment of the Government could be implemented. Unfortunately, however, the issue seems for the Governors and those who support them is not how we will cover our children, but who will be the 12 million at the end of the day", he concluded.