The Education Ministry on Friday announced a renewed proposal outlining changes to the way state school teachers are evaluated.
State teacher unions had balked at a previous proposal, and according to an official announcement, the new approach has taken into account the results of the resulting consultation.
The proposal also encompasses “recent relevant proposals, expert reports and opinions that had been submitted by stakeholders,” the announcement said.
Education Minister Costas Kadis has faced an uphill battle in his efforts to introduce education reform with teachers concerned they will be losing their rights and pupils upset by changes to exam period and school absence policies.
Friday’s announcement said agreement on teacher evaluation would contribute to other reforms for the ultimate benefit of pupils in Cyprus.
“This proposal aims to streamline a crucial policy and correct distortions within the current system which has remained unchanged for 40 years now. It is generally accepted that the evaluation of our educators today is carried out in a one-dimensional, uniform and old-fashioned way with the result they are not provided with the necessary support and incentives to constantly improve,” it added.
The Education Ministry said the proposed new evaluation method would be multi-faceted and based on measurable criteria to ensure objectivity.
The ministry also said the head teachers of schools would play a larger part in the process but would also have to undergo additional training.
“A clear procedure on handling cases of professional inadequacy or unsuitability will be adopted,” the announcement said, adding that procedures would also be put in place to better support and improve teacher skills.
The ministry said the proposal had already been sent to teacher organisations which had also been invited to meetings within January, and to the Cabinet-appointed Primary and Secondary Education Committee of experts.
“The Primary and Secondary Education Council will be meeting on February 13, 2017 during which the proposal will be presented and members’ opinions put forward with the aim of productive and constructive dialogue towards the formation of the final plan,” the ministry said.