20 March 2014 16:50

Commissioner for Children's Rights Leda Koursoumba has called for the state to adjust its policy to better fit in with the needs of pupils at a Limassol primary school where only 31% are Greek Cypriot.
In fact the majority language at the primary school is Turkish.
According to Koursoumba's report, made public earlier this week, problems at the 17th (Ayios Antonios) Primary School have made it close to impossible for teachers to properly fulfil their duties there.
"The head teacher, after informing me of the national/culture composition of the school's pupil population, referred to the difficulty the teaching staff had in successfully rising to the challenge they faced," Koursoumba's report noted. The head teacher's letter was sent on September 20, 2012.
A subsequent investigation beginning in December that year found that, on September 18, 2012, there were 73 pupils at the school of which 23 were Greek Cypriot, 40 Turkish Cypriot, two Bulgarians, one Georgian, one Moldavian, three Romanian, one Syrian and four from other, unspecified countries.
The school was, on that date, staffed by 12 teachers of which two were Turkish Cypriot and responsible for teaching Turkish to the Turkish-speaking pupils.
There was also one Greek Cypriot Turkish language and literature graduate who assisted the school's staff in their communication with the parents of Turkish Cypriot pupils.
However, the Turkish Cypriots specialise in Physical Education and Biology respectively and are not qualified to teach Turkish, Koursoumba found, calling for additional state support of the school.
 


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