Minister of Education and Culture Athena Michaelidou will visit next week the Education Committee of the European Parliament where she will present the problems of the Rizokarpaso school, which is situated in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

In statements after a session of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Education and Culture, the Minister said that she had been invited to the EP “to present the issue of Rizokarpaso and the difficulties that we face there, for our teachers, for the operation of our school, for the transfer of the educational material each time and for the control that is carried out.”

She said that this is a very positive result following the efforts of the Cypriot MEPsĀ  and especially MEP Loukas Fourlas. The Minister of Education stressed that this is the first time that emphasis will be given to the Cyprus problem from a purely educational point of view.

Asked if she will request something specific from the Education Committee of the European Parliament for the children and teachers of occupied Rizokarpaso, the Minister said that “we will request that they be treated equally, like other children, that they have the right – and this to be implemented in practice- of access to their books, to their teachers. For the inspector of the school to be able to visit, for example, Rizokarpaso, something that is currently not allowed, for the lesson to be held without interruption and for the children and teachers there to prosper.”

Invited to say whether the MEPs will visit Rizokarpaso, she said that they have already announced that they will do so with the help of the Cypriot MEPs.

As a result of the Turkish military invasion and occupation since 1974 20,000 Greek-Cypriots and Maronites chose not to leave their homes despite the Turkish occupation. Most of those who remained, mainly on the Karpasia Peninsula, were gradually forced to abandon the area. The number of Greek-Cypriots and Maronites currently living in the area has plummeted to 300 persons.


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