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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Tensions rise at Karpas school meeting ]

Tensions rise at Karpas school meeting

EDUCATION Minister Andreas Demetriou was forced to cancel the production of two plays at the Rizokarpaso School yesterday following heated exchanges between representatives of parents and children, teachers and the minister.

Demetriou called for a meeting with the school management and parents to try and calm the tense atmosphere following a theatrical production at the enclaved school which resulted in its headmistress receiving a dressing down in parliament for her choice of play.

The main issue on the agenda was the ministry’s proposal for the performance of two plays in the north as part of the island’s bicommunal activities.

However, rather than play the peace broker, Demetriou must have felt more like Sisyphus, rolling a huge boulder up a hill only to watch it roll down again.

The proceedings started on the wrong foot when the minister asked a teacher of the school to leave the hall as those attending the meeting had been given personal invites. Tensions were high until some vacated the hall, leaving only representatives of parents and children behind.

After a long discussion, the minister then met the school management and other representatives of various organisations including secondary teachers’ union OELMEK.

Following a long discussion and objections from the school’s management, teachers, and parents the decision was taken not to perform the two plays, one of which had been proposed by the teacher asked to leave the hall earlier. The plays were criticised for being harmful to the cultivation of “peaceful co-existence” with Turkish Cypriots, one of the ministry’s purported aims for this school year.

Demetriou maintained that the meeting ended positively despite the earlier tensions, saying that for the sake of unity among the enclaved of Rizokarpaso, the two contentious plays would not be performed.

“It was clear to me through the meeting with the parents that the two plays provoke tension, which is needless, and in order to maintain unity, I would rather neither of the plays were performed,” he said.

One of the plays that will take part in a theatrical competition launched yesterday will be performed at the school instead, he noted.

Asked to comment on the opposition voiced towards the ministry’s goals, Demetriou made clear that the ministry’s goals were also those of the government and as such would continue to be pursued.

A number of parents also expressed the desire to keep their distance from the ministry’s goals of rapprochement. On this issue, the minister said there were many other parents who supported the policy and wanted to see it continue.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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