The Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth decided to abolish the four-month mid-term exam and maintain a central exam at the end of the academic year, with a weight of 30%, presenting its proposal for the evaluation of students in Secondary General and Secondary Technical Education.< /p>
The proposal was presented on Monday by the Minister of Education, Sports and Youth, Athina Michailidou, to the organizations of teachers, parents and students.
In her statements after the completion of the presentation, the Minister stated that the main benefit of the new evaluation system is its student-centered nature. "It is based on basic pedagogical principles, it is modern and flexible, reliable and valid and includes in great emphasis the multiple forms of student assessment, the alternative forms of student assessment, those forms that allow each student to give the his best self. And these are not only written, they are also in the form of projects, in the form of creative tasks, quizzes, oral grade”, he says.
He noted that continuous formative assessment covers a very large part of the new assessment system, so that children are given the opportunity all the time to be assessed on their skills, knowledge and abilities, but the system is also given the opportunity to intervene where and where needed to improve the situation.
The Minister noted that with the abolition of the January central exam, there is a saving of useful educational time. The subject remains divided into two quarters, so students will be graded in January and May. "We will have one central exam at the end of the year and this is because with the two central exams valuable time was lost. Also, with the one central examination at the end, we achieve the goal of having a reliable measurement that will give the system feedback,” he noted.
Asked about the importance of the central exam in the student's overall evaluation, the Minister stated that the weight is divided into 30% in the central written exam and 35% in each quarter.
In addition, the Minister mentioned that the subject of the continuous training of teachers and through life, but mainly remotely “and this is a supporting mechanism, which sets the new modern evaluation system” is a strong issue, while she noted that an electronic material bank is also being created in various subjects, which will make it easier for students to see the material at any time, try projects, exercises for the tests that will be ahead of them, and generally make them more competent when they are called to be tested in the various subjects.
"Multiple forms of student assessment empower children to show their best selves. We believe that with this modern examination, the opportunity is really given to our students, both to improve their learning results and to have a fairer way of examination, both during the year and at the end”, said the Minister.
Regarding the procedures, Ms. Michailidou mentioned that the presentation was made to inform the partners about the basic principles and content of the proposal. The submission and approval of the proposal by the Council of Ministers will follow, and then the submission to the Parliament for a vote on the proposal, “so that we are ready from the beginning of the school year, through arrangements, which are expected to be made internally, through circulars/announcements in schools, so that all students, parents and teachers know in time how they will act during the coming school year”.
Asked if there is an issue of reducing the material, the Minister stated that the issue of reducing the material has been raised from the beginning. The reduction “is significant, without it being uncontrollable or ending in something dangerous for the credibility of the grade and what is taught in our schools.” Reducing matter is clearly about reducing unnecessary matter. We stick to the essentials, the important, the prerequisites for each course and this effort will be continuous over a three-year period”, he said.
In addition, he noted that the entire effort will be systematically evaluated in the three years, so that the system can make small improvement actions, which will allow the improvement of the subject of student evaluation more broadly. "We hope that its implementation will be three years in depth, so as not to upset students and teachers every year with serious changes that will affect the smooth operation of the school".
The reactions of teachers and parents
Asked about the reactions of parents, students and teachers to the proposal, the Minister replied that "we had two months dedicated to discussion and consultation, and this has now been seen at the end. The reactions were minimal and had to do with clarifications and clarification of concepts. What remains to be seen is the implementation of the whole proposal in practice. And I believe that is where we will all be judged”, he said and concluded that “it is time for our education system to have a better image, not only for the image of the system, but for the children themselves”.
The President of OELMEK, Constantinos Konstantinopoulos, said that for two years the organization has strongly demanded a dialogue with the Ministry about the student evaluation system. "We have reached a point, that a proposal is presented to us today, after the consultation of the last two months and with pleasure and satisfaction we noticed that many of the recommendations we had sent at the beginning of March to the Minister are included in the proposal that was presented to us today for the evaluation of students in order to go to a better system than the one that created heaps of problems in recent years”.
Mr. Konstantinopoulos added that they will examine the individual parameters of the proposal, “but on some very basic issues it also reflects the positions of our organization, such as the limitation of central exams to one at the end of the school year, as well as various other issues. We are initially positive about this proposal that was presented to us and we are ready for the Ministry to contribute to the consultation that will follow and see some details, which with good will and a good mood we will be able to find the best solutions for the good of the children, teachers and the public school”, he concluded.
For his part, the President of OLTEK, Panagiotis Lysandrou, said that his organization made recommendations on the matter. On the question of the abolition of the intermediate examination, he said that "according’ to us, under certain conditions, this examination could be held, for reasons which we have mentioned many times”. He noted that they will study the proposal and make recommendations so that it is implemented in a way that will truly benefit students. In more detail, OLTEK will make an announcement after the meeting of its collective bodies, he noted.
Finally, the President of the All Cyprus Confederation of Associations of Parents of Public Secondary Schools, Loizos Konstantinou, expressed his satisfaction with today's presentation . "We want a humane, functional school, a school that acquires color and vitality, with fewer competitions, alternative forms of evaluation, something modern for our children that will bring them, and our country, into the new era. We see the recommendations positively and we are sure that within days, with this climate that prevails with all involved, there will be a relevant conclusion to move forward”. In closing, he underlined that it is very important to respect the schedule, so that the new legislation is passed and implemented with the new educational year.