With students of graduating classes set to return to school on Monday, the government agreed on a plan for the safe return of the remaining classes on May 21.
According to the plan formulated at a meeting at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday morning, students will be separated into two groups, with each group participating in school classes on a weekly rotation.
This will mean that group one will go to school for five consecutive school days, followed by the repetition of the classes during the next five days for group two.
Given that the schools are set to open their doors on a Thursday, the first group will go to school Thursday through Wednesday, while the second group will follow classes the following Thursday until Wednesday.
The rotation is expected to continue until schools close for the summer on June 26.
At the meeting, which was chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades and attended by representatives of several education unions and organized groups, participants discussed the implementation of safety measures which would allow students to participate in school without needing to wear a mask.
Along with school, May 21 is also expected to see the resumption of operation of all educational centres and private tutoring services.
Additionally, participants agreed that students of all levels, barring graduating students, will not be required to sit end of year examinations, and will be automatically allowed to pass through to the next academic level.
But organized students group PSEM expressed high concern over the decisions, noting that many questions still remain unanswered, particularly in terms of the protection of students from the threat of the virus.
Pancyprian exams possibly in early June
The meeting at the Presidential Palace also discussed the initiation date of the end of year exams for graduating students, locally known as Pancyprian examinations, which constitute students’ ticket into higher education.
It was agreed that the Education Ministry will decide on whether the exams will begin on June 5 or June 9.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, citing informed sources, the Pancyprian exams will take place in large halls, with initial plans pointing toward at the international fair grounds in Nicosia and the neighbouring Tassos Papadopoulos stadium.