Public school teachers are up in arms over the government’s proposal to expand compulsory pre-primary education from the age of four years instead of four years and eight months.
In fact, union leaders have already warned of strong measures if a place in a public kindergarten is not guaranteed for each and every such student.
They seem to fear that public education is step by step going to be privatized. Because the government intends to subsidize the tuition of those students who will have to be enrolled in private kindergartens if public ones are full.
POED’s Myria Vassiliou said: “Rather than proceeding with planning the creation of additional departments and kindergartens, the Education Ministry has proceeded with the financing of children who will not find a place in public kindergartens, so that they go to private ones”.
She added: “Our objection concerns the fact that we see no proper planning.”
The state proposal’s implementation of the reform in state and private education will be carried out gradually in three phases.
In the 2023-2024 school year, the age limit for admission to compulsory pre-primary education will be extended by two months, while in the 2024-2025 school year, it will be extended by two additional months (four months in total).
In the 2025-2026 school year, the project will be fully implemented by extending the age of admission to compulsory pre-primary education by eight months.