With the… left it seems that the new year has entered for the education sector, with Prodromos Prodromou having to face several fronts, a month before his departure from the Ministry of Education, given that he is leaving with the outgoing President of the Republic. On the one hand, the biggest blow to his Ministry, the exams every four months and on the other the extension of the compulsory pre-primary, have caused a headache for the Ministry of Education, which is called upon to put out the fires that have been ignited by various decisions.< /p>
Although the Minister of Education believed that the issue with the decision of a private school not to apply four-month exams would be closed with the publication of the law on private schools, finally as it seems, this chapter hides several surprises, since parents declare that they are ready to pull things to the extreme, until said distortion is corrected, as they describe it. In fact, they have already considered measures, while waiting for the developments of the next few days to make final decisions.
Next Monday, the organized parents will have a meeting with the Minister of Education, to discuss the specific problem that has arisen, despite the fact that there was a first contact between the president of the Confederation and Mr. Prodromou. However, at the moment, the information seems to add fuel to the fire that two other private schools are preparing to submit an application, in order to request permission to be exempt from the examinations every four months, for the 3rd Lyceum.
“We have information that only this particular school has received approval, while two others are preparing to apply. They want to exploit the loophole in the law they think they have identified and do the same. They have violated the process, no matter what we say, there are enough violations of the existing legislation. In fact, it's not a school, it's 15 students attending the specific subject, who have called it a school of a similar type, in order to slip out of the program. The law, however, says that the program and those of a similar type must be controlled”, explained to REPORTER the president of the Confederation of Federations of Parents' Associations, Loizos Constantinou.
What caused the strong reaction of the organized parents, apart from the fact that there is an adverse discrimination in favor of the students attending the program in question, is the fact that the school advertised its intentions and aimed at students from other schools that would apply to it and not to the students already attending school, who will sit for the four-month exams.
“It's all illegal and instead of the Ministry of Education finding a solution and correcting its mistakes, it tries to justify itself and convince us that it did the right thing and it was legal. The issue is not the private schools, most of them do a great job. We focus clearly on the issue of unequal treatment of students. They are seniors, they are entrance exams for state universities. If we continue like this, we will cause a problem in the correct and good procedure that is valid and recognized abroad”.
The parents, for this specific matter, have contacted both the students and the teachers of Secondary General and Secondary Technical Education, in order to exchange opinions. However, it seems that a common front is being created by the three sides, as their positions on the specific issue are converging. To this end, next Thursday there will be a meeting of the organized parents with the teachers. In the meantime, the Education Committee, which is expected to hold an emergency meeting within the next few days, despite the fact that the Parliament is closed due to the upcoming Presidential Elections, has also raised concerns about the issue.
The President has the ball for the Pre-Primary School
On the other hand, the large chapter of extending the compulsory attendance of children in the Pre-Primary School remains open, with the issue causing disturbance to the parties involved, especially after and the rejection of the impeachment of the law passed by the Parliament, by the President of the Republic.
The reaction of the Minister of Education to the decision of the Plenary Assembly not to accept the dismissal seems to cause chain reactions, after he indicated that it is unconstitutional for parents not to have a choice for their children, who will attend school. with the teachers noting that this is his reading and what is expected now is the decision of the President of the Republic.
“We are waiting for the President's decision and accordingly we will see our next steps. If the FOED's position was adopted from the beginning when this bill was promoted, then we would not have these issues that arise at this time. For us, the issue is clear. The downward expansion of pre-primary education is of course important and has a positive benefit both pedagogically and socially, and certainly if this policy had been planned from the beginning, if it had been carried out by the public school structures, today we would not have all these issues” , POED president Myria Vassiliou pointed out to REPORTER.
What the President considered unconstitutional, essentially, were the amendments that were made, after the reactions of teachers and parents, regarding the subsidy for children attending private schools. Amendments that had been decided jointly with the Ministry of Education, but were later deemed unconstitutional. However, the situation at the moment could also be characterized as the storm before the storm, since the decision of the President of the Republic will either disturb the waters even more, or bring calm.
For their part, the organized parents of Primary School are also waiting for the specific decision, with them stressing that they had an initial communication with the Minister of Education on the matter, however Nikos Anastasiadis has the final say.
“We discussed some issues with the minister of education on the matter, we have asked for some clarifications and we are waiting for his response on this. The clarifications we requested are regarding the control of private kindergartens, the timetables that will be applied, the selection criteria for the children who will be divided into private and public kindergartens. What we have told the parents is to contact their school authorities and get informed”, noted the president of the organized parents of Preprimary, Ioannis Ioannou.
The outcome that the parents, as well as the teachers, are hoping for is as the President of the Republic does not refer the law to the Supreme Court and sign it. Otherwise, the law will not be applied, for the extension of the Pre-primary downwards and this does not agree with those directly involved.