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20 July, 2024
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Schools to close early on Friday due to heatwave

Education Minister Athina Michaelidou defends her decision


Education Minister Athina Michaelidou defended the government's decision to suspend classes early on Friday due to soaring temperatures, calling it a balanced approach despite inevitable discontent.

"We cannot satisfy everyone, but this was the most balanced decision given the circumstances," Michaelidou said during an interview on the radio program "Morning Routes."

Under the plan, children will be dismissed at 10:45 a.m. while teachers remain on school premises, a move intended to ensure consistency across worker groups. Parents facing difficulties picking up their children at the early dismissal time were advised not to bring them to school at all, Michaelidou noted.

Addressing concerns about upcoming Pancyprian exams, Michaelidou assured that they would proceed as scheduled, citing better conditions and flexibility if adjustments are necessary.

Regarding school infrastructure, Michaelidou announced plans to install 50 air conditioners in classrooms following the closures. "We aim to have as many as possible installed by September," she said, emphasizing the ministry's readiness to accelerate the three-year plan if needed.

The Ministry of Education, Sports, and Youth, in a statement, confirmed the early closure for all primary education schools on Friday, attributing the decision to forecasts of exceptionally high temperatures. Parents were urged to ensure their children's safe pickup at the designated time, with absences on the day excused and optional day schools closed.

Meanwhile, private nurseries and kindergartens will continue to operate normally on Friday, June 14, according to an announcement by the Cyprus Association of Private Pre-School Education (CPEE).

In a statement, CPEE affirmed their commitment to maintaining uninterrupted operations, ensuring safety measures for children and staff. They criticized the decision to close public kindergartens due to heat, citing difficulties for working parents and advocating for expanded subsidies to support parental choices in early education.

"This ensures that their child will receive uninterrupted high-quality care and pre-school education services, in modern facilities and with the necessary equipment," SIPEC concluded.

[With information from CNA]

Cyprus  |  education  |  heatwave

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