Education bill eyes school overhaul

Education bill eyes school overhaul

A government bill aiming to overhaul public education, with more school hours for foreign languages and information technology and English lessons in kindergarten, was unveiled on Wednesday by Education Minister Niki Kerameus.

Apart from increasing the emphasis on foreign languages and IT, the bill foresees the return of Latin to the high school curriculum. It also proposes a pilot program at kindergartens to teach the English language and “workshops” at all levels of public education focusing on concepts such as volunteerism and entrepreneurship. 

The bill also reintroduces a system whereby topics for end-of-year exams are selected by lot, in order to make the process fairer. In addition, secondary school pupils will have to score 10 out of 20, rather than the current 9.5, to proceed to the next grade. 

Responding to criticism by the union of secondary school teachers, OLME, which objects to English lessons in kindergarten and has accused the government of trying to impose reforms, Kerameus called on unionists to join a dialogue. 

The bill also provides a timeline for evaluation, both of schools and teachers, with the former to begin this September and the latter slated for the next academic year, 2021-22. 

Separately, Kerameus said that nationwide university exams will start in June, adding that no decision has been made yet on reopening the country’s schools, which were shut down last month to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

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