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The referral for the pre-primary extension was rejected – Prodromou's reaction

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ΑπορρΙφθηκε &eta ; αναπομπor για την επΕκταση προδ ημοτικorς-Η αντΙδραση Προδρόμου

With 21 votes against and 15 in favor, the Plenary Session of the Parliament rejected on Wednesday afternoon the impeachment of the President for the law on the extension of pre-primary, which caused the strong reaction of the Ministry of Education.

The Education Committee, as the material responsible for the specific matter, had met at noon on Wednesday, in the presence of the Minister of Education, the reasons for the impeachment of the law in question, with the deputies of the Democratic Alarm stating that they accept the impeachment, the deputies of AKEL to reject it and the deputies of DIKO, EDEK and DIPA to be placed in the Plenary. This means that, apart from the Democratic Alarm, all present MPs of the other political forces rejected the impeachment in question.

This provoked the reaction of Prodromos Prodromos, who in his written statement noted that the impeachment of the Primary and Secondary Education (Compulsory attendance and provision of free education) Law of 1993 to 2022 was done mainly because the Parliament had added the manifestly unconstitutional provision to the bill that: “From the 2026-2027 school year, children in compulsory pre-primary education attend public kindergartens in their educational district”. schools, is not valid in the Republic of Cyprus at any of the levels of education and cannot by law be introduced specifically for Pre-Primary. The unconstitutionality lies in the exclusion of other education than in a public school, that is, in limiting the choice of parents/guardians”.

Prodromos Prodromou, continuing, indicated that “this issue was not even commented on at today's Plenary meeting and the rejection of the impeachment, except for the intervention of the Deputy President of DISY, who correctly placed the issue. Such a provision as that included in the law amended by the Parliament, which refers imperatively to attendance at public schools, has never been accepted by the Minister, the Ministry of Education or the Government”.

On the contrary, adds the Minister of Education, “the Ministry had pointed out to the parliamentary committee that it would not be possible to serve something that is ungrounded, such as the desire to create building infrastructure and possibilities within two years, only with a legislative provision and that the obligation from 2026-2027 “to attend public kindergartens”, in addition to being unconstitutional, would also lead to impossibility of its implementation that year. Because both the State Budget for 2023 and the Medium-term Fiscal Framework have already been approved by the Parliament and data, without provisions for what the Parliament wants to legislate”.    

< p>In conclusion, Mr. Prodromou emphasized that “with today's decision of the Parliament, attendance at public kindergartens is not achieved at all. The result is that the children of the ages covered by this legislation will continue to attend either private education or public kindergartens where, as provided for and in effect today, they pay tuition fees.

What the President said in his letter

The President of the Republic sent the Law for review with a relevant letter to the Speaker 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 referral is that during the discussion of the bill submitted by the executive power, the amendment (4c), which “seems to exclude the right of a citizen to enroll his child in a private kindergarten if he wishes and conflicts with Article 2(1) of the relevant legislation”.

Noted also 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”.

Source: www.reporter.com.cy

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