The bill for the creation of the Ministry of Culture is expected to be submitted to the Plenary Session of the Parliament soon, with the Chairman of the Education Committee calling on everyone to put the importance of this project above all, instead of letting interests influence final decisions.
According to the chairman of the committee, Pavlos Mylonas, the article discussion of the bill has been completed, a “painful and difficult effort”, he said that started in early October and will be completed in the next few weeks, to be forwarded to the Plenary for voting.
Mr. Mylonas said that the issue is crucial and raised the question whether “this society, this people, this state feels the need to upgrade its culture and the Ministry of Culture or the interests and micro-policies can affect our final decisions “.
“I think that in this place and in this history of this place, it is worth promoting our culture through a Ministry of Culture,” he concluded.
George Karoullas, DISY MP said that the final text moves in the spirit and philosophy as submitted by the Ministry of Education and Culture and called on everyone to face their responsibilities when it is submitted to the Plenary for a vote, “so that culture is put now under a holistic, systematic and systemic view for the benefit of culture itself and our state. “
AKEL MP Christos Christofias said his party had submitted proposals to amend the bill to cover its significant weaknesses. “We reserve the right to submit several of them as amendments to the Plenary Session of the House of Representatives with the hope that in the end it will become a Ministry of Culture, which will really serve culture and its institutions,” he added. He also said that they have repeatedly asked the Ministry of Education and Culture to submit an organizational chart with the structure of the State Department, but until today they refused to submit an official organizational chart, even if it will not be included in the legislation. “We demanded to know before voting how the Ministry of State will be structured and they were satisfied with rough answers. “We do not know why this confrontation, if the structure that the new State Ministry will have is a state secret,” he said.
Budget of the Open University of Cyprus
The Committee also discussed the budget of the Open University of Cyprus with the deputies urgently raising the need to find other ways so that the highest institution does not pay € 800,000 per year for rent.
Mr. Karoullas said that the Open University of Cyprus is carrying out an important project, with important actions and that both the acquisition of owners of emblematic buildings and any actions for the development of programs for students from foreign countries should be priorities, so that it becomes independent the tactics of rents and these € 800,000 per year to be utilized for the benefit of the acquisition of privately owned buildings.
DIKO MP Chrysanthos Savvidis said that apart from the fact that the approximately € 12 million spent on rent for more than 15 years “went to waste”, they are also concerned about the reduction of University students in recent years. “For this purpose, we suggested some measures that need to be taken, but on the other hand we believe in lifelong learning and the University must be developed,” he said.
DIPA MP Alekos Tryfonidis said that they urgently raised the issue of rent in order to find solutions either with other government offices or in other state universities for housing the administrative offices of the Open University in order to avoid this waste and to channel this amount to useful university programs.
He also said that they raised as a matter of paramount importance from the party, the market research that both the Open University and others must do in order to provide bachelor's and master's degrees, which will be useful for the local economy and will give the opportunity to maximize the development of the place.
Test to Stay
In the statements after the Committee meeting, some members also referred to the Test to Stay measure.
Mr. Christofias said that as this measure is finally applied “we can only express our dissatisfaction with the suffering of students, parents and teachers”.
He said it was clear that the rulers “are out of touch with the reality of the world”. He said that the mobile units for rapid tests are set up regionally and not in every school, with the result that every morning students who declared themselves as close contacts run with their parents to another school for the test. In addition to the health risk involved in this controversial measure, he said, “we also have the sloppiness with which the Ministry of Education continues to deal with the situation.” He also said that due to the lack of ventilation in the schools, “which the Ministry tells us will be installed someday in the future”, children and teachers are thawed daily, as they are obliged due to protocols to have doors and windows open. He called on the Minister of Education to assume his responsibilities.
Mr. Savvidis said that his party will wait 15 days to see the results of the Test to Stay, ie whether the dispersion will be reduced. “In America, the test to stay system may have worked because it has been combined with some other measures such as reducing the number of students per class, and the fact that the classrooms are ventilated. “We will wait and judge the specific measure accordingly”, he concluded.