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 present themselves in the Plenary Session in the afternoon, while the Committee has decided to make some changes. the President 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 kindergarten, 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 reminded in all tones both as President and as a Committee the inadmissibility of the a la carte search for a policy basis for rejecting or referring 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 impeachment on the subject of sexual education”.
As he said, it is a double standard that does not honor anyone as an institution.
“So we too in the Plenary we 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 with the voucher policy either before 2026 or after ΄26 and the wording, which has finally been included and will go to the Plenary, that's exactly what it says.
It is the Government's initial position, Mr. Christofidis continued, in other words.
“So, according to in our opinion, either the Plenary will open a window for the privatization of compulsory public education with a perennial policy of vouchers, or it will not accept the impeachment of the President”, he added.
Mr. Christofidis said that there are two paths.
“From there on, our position is against the war against the 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 vouchers”, he added.
Mr. Christofidis said that “I want to close by underlining a reference of 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 voucher policy is a political decision of Government of the Alarm and this commitment of the Government could very well be implemented in the context of public education. Unfortunately, however, the issue seems to be 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.