In a poignant demonstration against the school's crumbling infrastructure and alleged governmental negligence, students of Parekklisia Primary School orchestrated a two-hour walkout, seizing the streets with fervent calls for change.
Organized by the Parents' Association, the protest unfolded with students brandishing banners adorned with powerful slogans. Messages such as "We want classrooms and schools, let the plutocracy pay for the crisis," "Take away the containers for the ministries, we demand modern schools," and "Students do not bow their heads, we are fighting for education and another society" echoed the frustrations of the student body.
Stella Hadjispyrou, President of the Parents' Association, expressed deep disappointment despite earlier assurances of budgetary allocations in the 2023 fiscal year. Recent official communication dashed hopes as it revealed an absence of funding in the forthcoming 2024-2026 budgets.
Hadjispyrou shed light on the dire conditions of the school, housed in a decades-old building from the 1960s, plagued by severe humidity. The resulting health hazards have led to a concerning frequency of illnesses among the approximately 200 students.
Highlighting the inadequacies, he detailed the challenges faced with a rented classroom requiring three rounds of repairs before becoming functional. Additionally, a warehouse-container serves as an improvised special education room.
The school's expansion, prompted by an influx of students, has led to a critical shortage of classrooms, impacting subjects such as art, economics, science, and music, traditionally taught within those spaces. Even the celebration of holidays and national anniversaries is contingent upon favorable weather conditions, restricting events to the courtyard.
Hadjispyrou, in a stark commentary, referred to the students as "students of a lesser God," emphasizing the stark disparity in development between the eastern region schools and the rest of Limassol. He pinpointed the absence of a gymnasium, forcing children to commute to facilities in the city center.
A somber warning resonated in Hadjispyrou's concluding statements, suggesting the imminent closure of the school post-Christmas and New Year holidays if authorities remain unresponsive to the impassioned pleas of both students and the Parents' Association. The fate of Parekklisia Primary School hangs in the balance, awaiting a decisive response from those in power.