In a letter sent on Wednesday, June 1, to the Rector of the University of Cyprus, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth, Prodromos Prodromou, suggests the & # 8217; except for the provision of one of the provided access points to Nikolas Markantonis. Nicholas is a high school student with cerebral palsy and his family has been trying for months to secure his right to attend the Pancyprian Access Examinations, through a written form based on his assessed needs.
Mr. Prodromou in his letter mentions the Ministry of Education, based on what applies to the pan-Cypriot examinations, is not able to conduct examinations with different examination essays for candidates, due to the diagnostic nature of these examinations. He adds that as a ministry he does not want to deprive the opportunity of the specific graduate student and that is why he suggests to the Rector, Mr. Tassos Christodoulou, to allocate one of the provided supernumerary positions to Nikolas. He notes that the suggestion is made after the candidate “may not be able to obtain an overall grade point average of at least 80% of the overall grade point average of the last candidate admitted to the Preference Department, due to particular difficulties in taking the test.” >
The letter as it is:
“We do not want favors”
Asked to comment on this development, Nikola's mother, Ms. Gioula Pitsiali, told politis.com.cy that Prodromos Prodromos's suggestion does not satisfy the family, since their request was not intended to be granted pardon. What they have been asking for months and as Ms. Pitsiali noted, “it is as if no one listens to them when they speak”, is to ensure the right of Nikolas, and every Nikola from now on henceforth , as a student and citizen of a European country to have access to the Pancyprian Examinations, on equal terms . She made it clear on our website that the family does not accept the exceptional position suggested by the minister , since in this way all the efforts of Nikolas, his family, his teachers would be wasted and all those involved in this great effort that has been going on for years. “If the request was a favor,” he added, “the issue would have ended before the Commissioner's report was due in March.”the ministry should recognize that providing written writing that simply asks questions in a way that the student can understand and answer is one of the reasonable adjustments that should be made in such cases. >
Recall that, as written in a previous report by politis.com.cy , earlier today, the report of the Commissioner for Administration and Protection of Human Rights, Ms. Maria Stylianou-Lottidi was and asked the Director of the Directorate of Higher Education and the Head of the Examination Service to provide both the complained son and other children with disabilities with the necessary reasonable accommodation in order to be able to access be examined in a differentiated test essay, based on their assessed and individualized educational needs. Note that the persistence in denial, conflicts with the UN Convention and its General Comments , which prevails as a Law of increased formal validity over formal law and constitutes discrimination. In the present case, according to the Report, there is unfavorable treatment of children with disabilities.
The position of the University of Cyprus
Speaking on Alpha TV, Ms. Lottidou said that in a communication with the Director General of the Ministry of Education, it was pointed out that a response is expected from the Rector of the University of Cyprus to show the next steps. According to information from politis.com.cy , the University has sent its response since Tuesday, May 31, through which it initially clarifies that admission is not a matter for the University, but for the ministry itself. It was also conveyed to the ministry that the University, if a candidate is accepted from the exams, can in no case close the door to him. Furthermore, the message was conveyed that the University supports students with disabilities and makes reasonable adjustments, without this meaning that they lead to a degradation of the credibility and validity of an academic program, nor that the obligations required by students will be removed. The same information states that there is concern in the University class that, in the case of Nikolas, the offer of help and support through reasonable adjustments may not be enough.