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Pupils refuse to attend class over asylum seekers

Education Ministry officials were scrambled to the Evriviadio High School in Larnaca on Thursday morning after some pupils reportedly refused to sit in the same classroom as older children of asylum seekers.

The parents of the protesting pupils at the school claim that the refusal of their children to share the classroom is not racially-intended. They instead argue that having older children in the classroom “will lead to disruption and other problems”.

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The school in question is meanwhile part of a program to integrate children of asylum seekers – which is expected to be fully implemented next month. Around 70% of the pupils at the school are non-Cypriot, according to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

The problems began on Thursday morning when some of the Greek Cypriot pupils took exception to the news that around 15 children of asylum seekers would be joining them.

At around 7.30am, pupils refused to enter the classrooms and tensions flared as parents joined in. Attempts by parents to dissuade the pupils from carrying on their protest failed and ministry officials were eventually called in.

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