School ban on mobiles, smoking

Schoolchildren will be barred from smoking and using their mobile phones at school as of September, under draft regulations made public by the government yesterday. The new regulations, unveiled by Education Minister Petros Efthymiou, will also forbid pupils to burn or in any other way destroy their state-provided schoolbooks – a fairly common practice at the end of the school term. Furthermore, both pupils and teachers will have to be «decorously dressed,» although Efthymiou did not dwell on the specifics of the definition, and turn up on time for the beginning of school. And schoolchildren who are not Orthodox Christians will be under no obligation to participate in morning prayers. The draft regulations, which also boost the authority of headmasters and promote closer cooperation between teachers and parents, will be sent to teachers’ unions for comments. Furthermore, under a proposed ministerial decision, teachers will be assessed at regular intervals depending on their experience, and those judged to be totally incompetent will be sacked.

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