Education Minister Ignored Teachers’ Recommendations

Secondary School Teachers Strike
[Secondary School Teachers Strike]
Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Statements by the Minister of National Education Nazım Çavuşoğlu saying that the Cyprus Turkish Union of Secondary Education Teachers KTOEÖS had not given their opinion on the contentious amendment to the Teachers Bill are untrue, Burak Maviş, Secretary General of KTÖS* said, Yeniduzen reports.

On Monday, The Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) went on strike in all secondary schools. KTOEÖS gathered in front of the Assembly and the Ministry of National Education. They protested against the Education Minister Nazım Çavuşoğlu’s attitude towards teachers and demanded the withdrawal of the Teachers (Amendment) Bill.

In a written statement the Secretary General of KTÖS said: “While not allocating a single penny for schools, which are our priority and urgent problems in education, crowded classrooms, schools waiting for repairs and renovations, adaptation of foreign students, technological infrastructure deficiencies of schools, art and sports equipment, the Minister of Education continues the artificial agenda it created”.

Maviş also criticised the education minister for targeting the Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) President Ozan Elmalı.

Noting that KTÖS presented the research it conducted to the Minister of Education on 21 June to identify the deficiencies of schools, determine their capacities and conduct an assessment of needs  before the new academic year, Maviş said the following:

On 28 June, KTÖS presented the relevant regulation to the Minister of Education, stating that some problems related to private lesson teachers (preschool) and special education teachers could be solved with a simple legal regulation. KTÖS presented its views on the proposed Teachers (Amendment) Bill to the Minister of Education on 29 July. KTÖS presented its views on the development and transformation of Atatürk Teachers Academy to the Minister of Education on 24 August”.

In return, the decisions taken by the technical committee regarding the Teachers (Amendment) Law were made contrary to the statutes and practices; Noting that they acted against all democratic practices with the attitude of “I will decide”, Maviş said in his statement that representatives of the teachers’ unions were not invited to the High Advisory Board’s meeting:

Hiding behind the police army and by brute force, the changes in the law were sent to the Parliament with the votes of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Labour in a meeting without the representatives of the teachers. He has turned a deaf ear to the calls of teacher unions for dialogue and negotiation. 22 teachers who protested in front of the Ministry of Education complained to the police and filed a lawsuit against them”.

Maviş said, “To say that the Minister of Education can contribute to education at this stage, It is not possible to claim that they can work in harmony with unions and teachers”.

*KTÖS is registered in the Republic of Cyprus and therefore it is also recognised in international platforms. KTÖS, which has 1,800 members, is organised in primary, pre-primary and special needs education schools in northern Cyprus and represents almost 95% of the teachers in those institutions.


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