NICOSIA - High school teachers’ union OELMEK yesterday reacted against a global report that listed Cyprus with the highest number of low achievers in maths, science and reading among 15-year-olds.
OELMEK chairman Themis Polyviou questioned the validity of the findings and said that in other European countries students who participate in the survey are selected and prepared specifically to take the exams which are analysed for the research.
“In Cyprus this does not happen and I believe that the results would be representative for the other countries if this survey was carried out without special preparation and tutoring,” Polyviou said.
He added that two years ago the union had alerted the Ministry of Education to the fact that students in Cyprus are not suitably prepared for such exams.
Polyviou also explained that results of the OECD report are distorted due to the methodology followed in Cyprus, whereby foreign high school students who are just learning the Greek language are asked to participate in reading competitions for such surveys.
Education Minister Kyriacos Kenevezos said that political parties, educational organisations, parents and society at large are to blame for the results of the survey and stressed the need for those involved in education to claim their responsibilities and create infrastructures that will provide students with the opportunity to succeed in similar future studies.
“I will not take advantage of the results but I will utilise them in the direction that we have been trying to steer the situation in terms of assessing policies that were implemented in 2005 with the educational reform, in efforts to modernise procedures that are followed in all aspects of education in Cyprus,” Kenevezos said.
The minister pointed out however that in order to examine such issues everyone must be prepared to contribute to certain changes even if those cannot please