Six Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade unions organize on May 15 and 16, 2018, their 2nd Bi-communal Educational Conference and Workshop, in the Nicosia buffer zone, to discuss “public and quality education”.
Teachers belonging to POED, OELMEK, OLTEK KTÖS, KTOEÖS and DAÜ SEN – all members of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) – are expected to exchange views on preventing and mitigating harassment and violence in schools, while discussing the issue of teaching foreign children.
The conference was announced on Friday, during a press conference at the Home for Cooperation, in Nicosia, during which POED President Filios Fylaktou and Tahir Gokcebel from KTOEÖS read a joint announcement, in Greek and Turkish respectively.
They also said that European Director of ETUCE, Susan Flocker is expected to address the opening of the conference.
Trade union representatives also sent the message that they can develop a culture of reconciliation, in order to support the efforts to reunite the country for a better future, for them, their children and the future generations.
“As teachers we can and we must cultivate a positive climate, a culture of peace, mutual respect, equity, cooperation and mutual understanding” which are essential conditions in facilitating efforts for the reunification of Cyprus.
Involving education in these efforts may lead to “greater standardization and harmonization between the two communities” it is noted.
Educational organizations visit the Greek Cypriot School at Rizokarpasso
Board Members of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers’ organizations visited Thursday the nursery, primary school and gymnasium-lyceum at Rizokarpaso, in the north-eastern tip of Cyprus. On May 24 they will pay a similar visit to the Agios Antonios school, in Limassol, which is also attended by Turkish Cypriot pupils.
Speaking to CNA, Fylaktou said that the visit took place in the framework of joint actions undertaken through ETUCE. He added that they had the chance to speak both with the children and their teachers and said that conditions at the Rizokarpaso Greek Cypriot school, in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, are much more difficult.
The nursery at Rizokarpaso currently numbers 16 children, while the primary school is attended by 13 pupils. Fylaktou noted however that despite all difficulties, the quality of education has increased significantly.