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19 July, 2024
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Nicosia roads close as teachers march

Traffic police say roads will close as educators carry their torch on Presidential avenue


Traffic police say there will be road closures in Nicosia on Tuesday late afternoon due to a scheduled teacher demonstration where thousands of educators are expected to join.

According to local authorities, Demostheni Severi and Presidential Palace avenues will remain temporarily closed in the afternoon with teachers concluding their march outside the Presidential Palace.

First road closure

Between 5:30pm and 6:30pm, parts of Demostheni Severi avenue will remain closed from the intersection with Georgiou Griva Digeni avenue until the intersections of Evagorou and Michail Karaoli avenues near the old GSP Stadium.

Second road closure

Then around 6:30pm, Presidential Palace Avenue will close temporarily from the roundabout on Kyriacou Matsi avenue through parts of Demostheni Severi Avenue by the Foreign Ministry.

Thousands are expected to be bused in from other towns to demonstrate against what unions call an affront to state public education

All roads will open to traffic at the end of the demonstration.

Thousands are expected to be bused in from other towns to demonstrate against the government and what unions call an affront to state public education.

The protest comes after state teachers unions rejected last weekend a government last ditch effort to seek middle ground in budgeting exempted hours. The government says the proposal was based on a meeting with union leaders but teacher representatives said they had nothing to do with the proposal and warned they would resist any change without prior agreement.

The government has been mounting efforts to realign the number of instructional hours in the classroom with teachers’ pay by reducing the number of class periods educators can exempt. These are class periods educators can claim as ‘free time’ to carry out a variety of tasks including union business.

Both state teachers and the government have acknowledged that a number of non-curriculum duties could be taken over by administrative staff, such as keeping an absence log.

But the education ministry also says the state is overspending when it comes to exempted hours, adding that money saved from the new plan could be directed towards other areas, such as support staff and programmes for students.

'Without even a having larger number of students, there are more teachers being hired because of these exemptions,' the minister said on Monday.

Despite the protest, unions say teachers will report to duty on first day of classes next week, while warning that they will consult with each other on additional measures as the school year goes into full swing.

The government says initial measures decided in a July Cabinet meeting will go forward.


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