Pupils return to school without usual fuss

THE NEW school year has just begun and, according to the Ministry of Education, the first week back was calmer than in previous years, with 1.7 million students starting their lessons on time. Around 150,000 teachers began their duties at around 11,500 state schools, from nurseries through to secondary schools.

Last year, schools were thrown into chaos due to computer problems, which delayed the school allocation process of teachers. Many parents were forced to find alternative day care for their children for several weeks, until the situation was sorted out. Similar situations also took place in the past, but computer software may not have been the problem.

It has been reported that this is the first time that the school year has begun with more than 97 per cent of the teachers already in place – 150,000 before the end of the first week of term.

Various alterations were made prior to the commencement of the new academic year, particularly with regard to organisational issues. Changes were also made to the working hours of teachers. The most radical change is that teachers are now required to work until 5.30pm (minimum of eight hours a day) in order to offer more extracurricular activities for children.

English lessons to be taught earlier

As from October, 87 per cent of students in the third and fourth year of junior school will, for the first time, be taught English, a measure brought in by the Ministry of Education.