The Government's bill for the gradual expansion of compulsory Pre-Primary Education was clear and simple, while the intervention of certain parties in the Parliament caused confusion and negative results, says the Minister of Education, Sports and Youth, Prodromos Prodromou, in a written statement.
“Regarding today's publication with which the newspaper and the AKEL side assigns responsibility to the Government for the developments surrounding Pre-Primary Education, we want to remind you of the real facts beyond allegations and slogans”, he adds.
It states that the Government proposed the gradual expansion of Pre-Primary Education in the coming years, so that it starts from the age of four, but the House of Representatives intervened and made the relevant legislation unconstitutional.
He notes that different amendments of political parties of the opposition accumulated in an “otherwise result” which for the first time in Cyprus excludes the possibility of citizens to freely exercise choice. alalum”, we must clarify that the Government's bill was clear and simple: to define that Pre-primary begins at the age of 4, gradually over the next three school years. Any confusion was created by interventions, initiatives and changes that brought specific parliamentary groups”, he adds.
In this regard, Mr. Prodromou continues in his statement, for the transition to the expanded pre-primary education, the Government had secured aid of 12.2 million euros in the context of the “Cyprus Tomorrow” Recovery Plan, but some opposition parties in the Parliament hastened to cancel it.
“AKEL especially tried to discredit this European support for the expansion of Pre-primary, using the term “vouchers” misleadingly and thus remaining steadfast in its problematic relationship with European policies. The fact remains that the political position of a majority created by AKEL, DIKO, ELAM and the Environmentalists has resulted in a law that is both unconstitutional and practically impossible to implement”, he adds.
While, similarly , says Mr. Prodromou, cancels the possibility to use the planned 12.2 million euro sponsorship from the Recovery Plan.
“However, it would be good if the opinion of thousands of households and young couples that directly concerns them could be heard on this issue”, he concludes.
DIKO sees feasibility
However, in a statement, DIKO notes that “it is with regret that we find that education issues, and especially the sensitive issue of pre-primary education, are being exploited by the Minister of Education and the president of DISY, Mr. Averof Neophytou”.
He also states that, “they think that through misinformation and inaccuracies, they will gain an electoral benefit, while in reality, they are sacrificing the interests of our children on the altar of pre-election purposes. DIKO clarifies that the recent amendment to the legislation for the gradual reduction of the age limit in compulsory pre-primary education was also voted for by the DISY parliamentary group and Mr. Averof Neophytou. Now, apparently, they regretted…”.
Also in his statement he clarifies “that the recent amendment to the legislation on the gradual reduction of the age limit for compulsory pre-primary education in no way prohibits the enrollment of a child in a private school. Each family continues to have the right to choose between a public or private school. Everything else is heard and said, it has nothing to do with reality”.
“Unfortunately, it is now clear that our children are paying for the sloppiness of the Ministry of Education and the pre-election expediencies of Averof Neophytos”, he says at the end in his announcement DIKO.