Students left without a classroom in Kyrenia schools
By Kyriacos Kiliaris
The school year in the north of Cyprus was off to a sour start on Monday with KTOS, the Turkish Cypriot elementary teachers' union reporting that a number of children were left without a classroom in public schools in Kyrenia due to the schools being overcrowded.
According to Sener Elcil the General Secretary of the union 75 elementary school children, despite being enrolled for the school year, were not able to able to join their classmates as classrooms are overcrowded. Elcil said that the Kyrenia Maarif elementary school was unable to find a classroom to accommodate 40 students while, another 35 students of the Karakum Elementary School were also left without a classroom.
He lushed out at the coalition saying that the head of the education office in the north, Ozdemir Berova, had stated a while back that they had set aside the money for a new school in Kyrenia but are unable to find a field available to build.
Speaking at a press conference held at the school, Elcil said that the union is giving the ruling coalition 3 weeks to find a spot to build a new school for the district of Kyrenia or they will take to industrial action.
“Taking industrial action is not a nice thing, but the government is forcing us to take action as classrooms are now accommodating 35 students” said Elcil. He added that the 23 April Elementary School now has a total of 1,100 students.
Meanwhile, the school year was not off to a good start in the secondary education as members of the the Turkish Cypriot secondary teachers' union KTOEOS went on strike in two Famagusta schools.
Secondary teachers at the Canbulat Ozgurluk and Canakkale secondary education schools went on strike over the schools conditions which they deemed as potentially dangerous for teachers and students.
According to the head of KTOEOS, Selma Eylem, construction work at the aboved mentioned schools which was planned to take place over the summer holiday has yet to be completed. Eylem also said that children in various schools had to walk through construction waste, while many windows at schools have yet to be fitted, creating a dangerous environment for the children. She added that due to the lack of planning on behalf of the education office a series of schools are faced with shortages of chairs and desks.
The head of KTOEOS also lushed out at the coalition, accusing it of putting forward changes in the education system in the north which aim to change the character of the Turkish Cypriot community. Eylem reffered to the removal of the “Evolution Theory” saying that “The change of the education's syllabus is an attack on the secular character of our community. This cannot be accepted”, said Eylem.