Anxiety As Schools Prepare To Reopen

North Cyprus News - Parents with SchoolchildrenTeachers’ Union leaders have expressed some anxiety about reopening schools for face to face education in September. They say they are concerned that there are no statistics on how many teachers have been vaccinated ahead of the new school year, Yeniduzen reported.

Since the pandemic broke out, students have been receiving online education and in September, it is planned to resume face to face education, providing coronavirus infection rates fall below a certain level.

Secretary General of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) Şener Elcil, said that a study had begun in cooperation with the education unions and the Medical Association with regard to the security and logistics of reopening schools. This work is ongoing, he noted. Elcil went on to say that the Ministry of Education had arranged a meeting before the holidays began. However, he said, “We do not have data on the vaccination of teachers. Unfortunately, we do not know how many people have been vaccinated or not”. Elcil noted that some teachers were vaccinated and some did not want to be vaccinated. 

Elcil continued as follows: “We live on a small island. We currently do not have a record of the vaccinations. Although there is a Statistical Institute, there is no official information. Vaccines for teachers should end by August. The start of the school year is something we’ve all been waiting for, and teachers are waiting to begin face-to-face education. The government should also work in this direction. These should be overcome by controlling the hygiene and staffing situation in schools. We have all seen the lack of motivation due to the lack of infrastructure in online education. The government and the Ministry of Education should check everything, in cooperation, by the 20th of August. Opening schools is our main expectation”. 

President of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers’ Union Ozan Elmalı said:

We aim to inform both families, students and the public about this planning in line with the recommendations of the Medical Association. In the new school year, we want to keep schools open. We will come together with the Ministry of Education [to discuss] reorganisation”.

He went on to say, “I would like to draw attention to the speed of the increase in cases, especially in July. We also saw the footage of Bayram, July 20. The public has forgotten to be wary about the epidemic and has given up the [safety] measures. The fact that case numbers are not decreasing will create serious problems in terms of education. This is worrying”, he said. 

Case Numbers Should Fall Below 100 

Education Secretary of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union Burak Maviş said

We want cases to drop below 100 for full-time education”. He noted that the Ministry of Education and Health has implemented a schedule for the vaccination of teachers. Noting that most teachers had taken up the offer of vaccination, Maviş said that there is no clear figure about this. 

He emphasised that preparations should be made for face-to-face education. A guide on health and safety measures has been prepared while working with the Medical Association, Maviş said. Together, they have determined what is the maximum case number it would be safe to resume face to face education.

Maviş said, “For full-time education, the number of cases should fall below 100”. 


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