Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers got together Tuesday afternoon at Ledra Palace, Nicosia, in the framework of the 2nd Bi-communal Conference “Public Education and Quality”.
Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot organizations that are members of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), POED, OELMEK, OLTEK, KTOS, KTOEOS, and DAU SEN, participated.
Addressing the Conference, ETUCE Director of Europe Susan Flocken described it as an important event promising further cooperation between the two communities
It is important, she noted, because you organized this Conference together, bringing your trade leaders and teachers together from both communities of the island.
“This event is a clear indication of your desire and contribution for peace in Cyprus, overcoming the prejudices, stereotypes, lines that exist and usually are created by politicians”, she said
As teachers, Flocken said, we have an important role to play in being leaders and role-models for the younger generation, adding that young people are the future of this country and the future of Europe.
“As trade union leaders, we can shape education in Europe by helping young people to have critical thinking, an open mind, to be citizens who know their rights and responsibilities, citizens with respect for each other without taking into account the socio-economic background, culture and religion”, she added.
It is in schools, she noted, that young people learn that there are other ways of solving problems other than violence.
“Education is the best weapon as Nelson Mandela said. Education, learning, respect for others, acceptance of diversity and differences is the main core of education”, she added.
Tuesday`s workshops in the framework of the bicommunal Teachers` Conference focused on the prevention of violence and harassment in schools.