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Education Committee: Need for institutions like the Academy of Sciences

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Επιτροπor Παι δεΙας: Αναγκη yπαρξης θεσμoν

The need for institutions, such as the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts, was emphasized on Wednesday in the Parliamentary Education Committee, which discussed the Academy's budget.

The members of the Commission ask the states to support the institution, with the aim of establishing and consolidating it.

In his statements, after the session, the former Minister of Education and Culture, Dr. Andreas Dimitriou, stated that the Cypriot Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts is a newly established Organization, noting that it is the second year that they have an autonomous budget.

He thanked the Education Committee for the support it gives to the Academy, while noting that after the recent meeting the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts had with the new President of the Republic and with the Minister of Education and Culture "soon we will have formed a framework cooperation between the Academy and the State, so that the Academy can contribute to the solution of the problems that society faces, as it happens in all advanced countries.

To a journalist's comment that there is a distance between the Academy and society, Dr. Dimitriou replied: "We do not have a distance from society. We want to be close to society, but I have to say that until now the development of the Academy has been slow.

So far, he continued, "there are no administrators. Therefore, while we make decisions, we have a difficulty in implementing them, because we do not have an administrative structure.

According to Dr. Dimitriou, there are three positions that are waiting and approved and they still need legislative regulations, service plans, regulations for these positions, so that they can hire people.

He assured that they want to be part of society, which contributes to the solution of its problems.

As he added "we are just new and newly established and I mentioned to the Education Committee that the Academy is an infant in age".

He expressed the hope that they will have the support from the state, so that they can develop and do what society expects of them.

The Member of Parliament of AKEL, Christos Christofidis, expressed his disappointment, since as he said "this year again we heard that the Cyprus Academy – an institution very important for the development of the sciences in our country – operates with serious problems, with a budget which is only 60% of the budget, which has been requested by the Academy, so that it can cover its needs».

At the same time, he added that the members of the Education Committee listened "with great interest"  issues in which the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts has been involved in research and which directly concern Cypriot society.

An example, he said, "is the transfer of the experience of other advanced countries in relation to dealing with the learning gaps that the pandemic has brought to students. And in other advanced countries there are entire programs to cover these gaps, because as international research shows, students – especially younger ones – who have fewer opportunities have acquired huge gaps in terms of the knowledge and skills they should have had.

Besides, during the debate the subject of artificial intelligence was raised, which according to the MPs is "running at a very fast pace".

Referring to the matter, Mr. Christofidis said that in Cyprus there has not been any “serious and substantial discussion” about the economic, cultural and social effects of artificial intelligence.

As he added, « artificial intelligence has advanced so much that there are dangerous incidents abroad of autonomous AI machines or robots. It is a discussion that has never been held in Cyprus. The consequences will be very serious and very large and with the help of experts this discussion should finally take place.

He mentioned that the Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts "could make a decisive contribution to illuminating aspects of this huge issue, which is now part of our everyday life".

He called on the new Minister of Education to "finally to stop what her predecessors did and to see with more fervor the issues and the support of the Academy.

Regarding the issue of dealing with the learning gaps that the pandemic has brought to students, DIKO Member of Parliament, Chrysanthos Savvidis, said that “unfortunately, there is no documented study of how it has affected Education, i.e. to demonstrate in which areas of Education it has affect children cognitively, psychologically or otherwise, so that a policy is made that  confronts this phenomenon.

There are students, he explained, "who are left with many cognitive gaps and there is no set plan for how these children will be able to recover knowledge".

He said that he believes that the Minister of Education should put forward this study together with the Academy of Sciences, so that these researches become policy-making tools, especially in the matter of acquiring knowledge.

He also said that in Cyprus has not done any study on artificial intelligence, which has greatly affected the education system.

Abolition of the market for services in education

In relation to the issue of abolishing the purchase of services in education, Mr. Christofidis invited the Minister of Education to attend the competent Committee of the Parliament, in order to inform the members about the progress of the dialogue that is taking place with the educational organizations.

"We consider it very important that people, who work – some for several years – in programs of the Ministry of Education, such as full-day schools or DRASE or in other related programs, find ways not to be thrown from one moment to the next on the street, to lose their jobs, many of whom earn a living for themselves and their families”, said Mr. Christofidis.

Tryfonidis proposal for the enrichment of Public Buildings with musical works

Besides, during the session of the Committee on Education and Culture, the proposal for a law submitted by the MP of DIPA was examined – Cooperation of Democratic Forces, Alekos Tryfonidis, for amendment of "about the Minimum Mandatory Rate of Enrichment of Public Buildings with Works of Art".

The purpose of the Tryfonidis proposal is for public buildings, in addition to visual works, to be enriched with musical works.

As Alekos Tryfonidis said after the session "we have the examples of other countries around the world, where musical works of domestic composers are performed both in public buildings with permanent sound installations, as well as in public building openings by various symphonic and choral ensembles.

I think, he said, «that we must imitate these good examples, modernizing the legislation of our country, but also at the same time creating favorable conditions for the Europeanization of our mentality and society»

He added  that by filing this specific proposal of law, a distortion that exists in the original law is corrected, since a work of art can be understood as any creation of an artistic nature and style, which concerns the entire spectrum of the performing arts and not only the visual arts.

< p> Source: KYPE 

Source: www.sigmalive.com

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