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Unacceptable and anti-pedagogical behaviour by the Ministry of Education and Culture


Statement by Christos Christofides, Head of the Education Affairs Bureau of AKEL and AKEL MP

8 September 2021, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

First of all, I would like to express our displeasure with the fact that yesterday, on the first day of the opening of schools, no TV channel broadcasted AKEL’s relevant statement, which is the biggest opposition party. The result was that once again only the views of Education Minister Mr. Prodromou and his version of events that everything is perfect and that everything is ready for school’s opening were broadcasted. This one-sided approach does not serve any democratic dialogue.

The Education Ministry is behaving in an unacceptable, authoritarian and anti-pedagogical manner, with attitudes that refer to the darkest pages of our history. I am referring to the decision of the Ministry of Education, and indeed of the Minister himself, because the order was given from his office to remove and tear up a specific page from a book. Even if there are references that are incorrect or unacceptable, in the context of cultivating critical thinking among our teachers and pupils, what should be done in such cases is to respond with arguments to any unacceptable reference.

Pages from our books are torn up by the occupying regime when we send books to the enclaved people living in the occupied area of Rizokarpaso. Books were destroyed in other times. What we want to achieve in our education is very different from tearing up pages.

Furthermore, as we have been informed today, the Ministry of Education, ostensibly wanting to honour the memory of Mikis Theodorakis, has instructed schools to play Mikis Theodorakis’ music during breaks in schools, but only two specific songs. Apparently, according to the Ministry of Education, the work of Mikis Theodorakis is divided into acceptable and unacceptable songs. I am sure that Mikis himself wouldn’t feel honored, nor would he have felt comfortable with the preemptive censorship of his work by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Both of the above incidents, unfortunately, reveal once again that the Ministry of Education and Culture continues to perceive education and culture with an outdated and unacceptable approach. For us, this is indeed very worrying…


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