Prodromou: Everyone wants the schools to function normally

"It is the opportunity to see the continuation of the school year, hoping that in the coming days and in the context of the gradual lifting of restrictions, the time will come for us to have physical presence in both other classes of the Lyceum and the Gymnasiums"

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The preparations for the start of the school year at the 26th Primary School of Limassol were inspected today by the Minister of Education Prodromos Prodromou

What everyone wants, students, parents, teachers and the Ministry of Education, is to have a normal operation of schools with physical presence of students, subject of course to the directions given by the team of experts of the Ministry of Health, regarding the pandemic Coronavirus, said today the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Prodromos Prodromou.

In statements after visits to the Lyceum of Livadia, the Primary School of Kalogera and the Evryviadio High School of Larnaca, the Minister of Education noted that "it is the opportunity to see the continuation of the school year, hoping that in the coming days of restrictions, the time comes to have physical attendance in both other classes of the Lyceum and the Gymnasiums ".

He added that "of course we all want this, teachers, children, parents and the Ministry of Education, that is, to have the normal operation of schools with physical presence, always of course subject to the directions given to us by the team of the Ministry of Health. Decisions will be made in the coming days, however we plan the operation of the schools in the next period until the end of the school year ".

The Minister of Education also said that the specific visits "are combined with the fact that in our educational system and in schools, a significant portion of children with immigrant biographies are recorded, ie a percentage of 15-20% at all levels of education. Decisions have been made, and recently a plan has been made to strengthen the support that the public school gives to these children with the logic that they should learn the language, to gain an acquaintance with the place where they are, with the society, to learn elements of history and culture, to be essentially part of education ".

He also noted that "in recent years efforts have been made to welcome these children who are with us, are entitled to education and we have every reason to want to see them integrate smoothly into our society. However, we want "continued Mr. Prodromou" to take the next step now, these children not only to attend schools but actually to participate, to receive the education provided and the schools to function more smoothly ".

He explained that a plan was made and "from next school year, more human resources will be available more systematically. There will be a system for verifying the progress that is made, with periodic diagnostic tests from primary school and even from pre-primary, so that we can make sure that these children, in the public school, receive the same education as the other children and that all together, where the departments are mixed, they can work best. "

Asked whether the students of the other grades will return to the schools in two phases or will return all the grades together. The Minister replied that "it remains to be seen, based on what the special advisers of the Ministry of Health will tell us in the coming days, after studying the new data. We are waiting to see what the directions will be, however I have said that our wish is to see immediately and the other classes to be integrated in the schools ".

At the same time, he underlined that "in the last lifting of the restrictions, when we had back the Primary education and the C Lyceum, a population of around 60 thousand in the public schools, plus several thousand in the private ones, returned to the schools. Now what is left, the Gymnasiums and the two classes of the Lyceum are a population for the public schools around 35 thousand "he said and noted that" they are about half of those who mobilized for the first time. "I hope it is possible to have all the students in the school, because bad lies can replace education with physical presence in the classrooms."

He added: "We have made progress and the public school and our teachers are commendable for the fact that for the first time we operated and it seemed that we can operate with remote capabilities. "No matter how much progress is made, it is always better to study in person", he said and reserved the fact that "the decisions will be collective and we will take very seriously what the experts will advise us. I hope that this feeling that we have in general that we are doing better (in terms of the epidemiological picture for the coronavirus) can be verified by removing the restrictions on education ".

Asked about the pan-Cypriot exams, Mr. Prodromou replied that "all the data will be taken into account with a logic of mitigation. "As the pan-Cypriot exams were held successfully last school year, so they will be held this year as well".

For the Ministry of Education, he continued "it is not an end in itself to set unattainable goals but on the basis of the teaching that took place, taking into account that a part, which varies from school to school, was covered by distance education and taking into account that the rest of the school year that is, the months of April and May are offered for repetitions and consolidation, we will plan, after the suggestions we will have from the teachers and the inspections, what is the one that will be examined ".

The Minister of Education reminded that "having reached about two thirds of the previous school year, we had considered it to be a satisfactory level and performance and the school year ended smoothly".

He called on the students not to be "anxious and that soon enough before the exams, they will know what will happen, since" as he explained "it would be trivial to go ahead since we have to see how the school year is evolving".