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15 May, 2021
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Cabinet meets to address teacher crisis

President calls for an emergency meeting amid whole host of problems days before classes begin


The Cabinet is holding an emergency session Tuesday at noon to discuss the teacher crisis, with a whole host of problems in the backdrop including a slowdown by the unions.

State teachers in public schools this week took industrial action by ‘going slow’ in the first few days back to school, while unions will seek a stronger mandate on Wednesday, asking members to vote whether or not they approve a general strike.

They are protesting measures by the government, accusing the education ministry of not having their consent regarding a July 4 Cabinet decision to realign exemption hours for union teacher leaders.

The government says the decision is legal and a matter of policy by the current administration, arguing that money saved from hiring extra teachers- who pick up the slack left by teachers conducting union business on the clock- could be spent elsewhere on schools.

Teachers said over the weekend they would work the bare minimum, including not helping arrange the distribution of books ahead of first day of classes.

But parents associations weighed in on Monday, saying they were willing to jump in and help schools get ready for students but also seek legal advice on whether teachers have violated any laws with their latest go-slow measures.

Parents groups are expected to make public their response on Tuesday, according to Kathimerini Cyprus, addressing both the slowdown measures by teachers and the overall crisis in education. 

A number of videos also emerged on social media, where dissenting educators appear to be showing schools in what they describe as ‘appalling conditions’ just days before pupils arrive for the start of the school year.

The Cabinet will meet at 12 noon Tuesday to discuss the crisis. 

Cyprus  |  education  |  crisis  |  teacher  |  union  |  school  |  reform

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