Auditor General says no to new teachers request

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Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides has vetoed an Education Ministry request to fill close to 360 new teaching positions for the upcoming school year, saying no new educators should be hired until an evaluation of the education sector’s needs is complete.

Michaelides has justified his response in a letter suggesting the ministry better organise the teaching time of the teachers already in service including some who, he says, have been given less time in the classroom than before in recognition of their years of service.

According to the Auditor General, he can find no real justification for veteran teachers to have their time in the classroom reduced and pupils handed over to new teachers hired specifically for this purpose.

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“I think it is significant that, based on information we have passed on to the Education Ministry, the time Middle and Secondary School teachers spend in the classroom on an annual basis is much less than the European and global average,” Michaelides also noted.

He  said that international tests had shown that pupils in Estonia and Slovenia—with class sizes of 36 and 28 pupils respectively—performed better academically than their Cypriot peers who were in classes with no more than 25 pupils.

He also noted Education Ministry statistics showed that for the 2014-2015 academic year, the most recent for which data is available, there was already one teacher for every 12 pupils (48,796 pupils and 4,078 teachers).

The taxpayer should not be made to pay for the Education Ministry’s tactics, Michaelides added.

Article source: In-Cyprus – Read more..

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