17 Μαΐ 2015

Another sad development at the English School Άλλη μια θλιβερή εξέλιξη για την Αγγλική Σχολή




The English School Parents Association (ESPA) organizes the Leaver's Dance on a date which a group of students find it difficult to attend due to ALevel in Turkish Language. Despite parents' and students' reactions, the Parents Association ESPA, at its meeting on 14 of May proceeded to validate the date, creating bitterness and frustration not only among the 17 Turkish Cypriots leavers but many members of the community of the English School.

Here the view of Cenk Ozdag, parent of a year 7 student :
"Even though we are having strong hopes for the future of our island I would like to bring a rather sad story into your attention. It might be perceived as a small matter but I believe that it is important to show how strong the resistance against the bicommunal life in Cyprus.


It is related with the Leavers Prom date in the English School, which was planned for a day, 24th June, on which the Turkish Cypriot students (17 students out of approximately 140) will be taking Turkish A Level exams that finishes at about 6.30 in the afternoon. It was already impossible for the TC students to attend the event because of time constraints – some students live  in Famagusta while others in Kyrenia. I informed ESPA (The Parents Association, consists of only GC parents) council which was assigned the Prom organization and had some meetings in order to overcome the problem. Despite initial indications to the contrary, the Hilton Park Hotel, the venue, was available on 25th, a more convenient date for the event.

The main opposition to a possible change was from some members of the student council and their parents, with the argument that they wanted to participate at the prom of the Falcon School on the 25th. On the 12th of May we had a meeting at the school, the head teacher, ESPA president Mr. Panicos Makariou, the social events coordinator, and myself where it was unanimously agreed that the best day for the prom is the 25th.Then unfortunately despite his approval at the meeting, last night (14th Thursday) with the negative vote of its president Mr. Makariou, ESPA council rejected to move the date and took a final decision to have the leavers dance on the 24th, despite knowing that all the TC students won’t be able to attend unless artificial solutions are found. A member of the ESPA council resigned in protest and also the social events coordinator resigned from her duty. According to one ESPA Council member "5 ESPA Council members’ votes were determined by personal agenda, and 4 by political agenda".

With these events, ESPA has affirmed the racist and discriminatory character of its actions, treating TC students as “rivals” instead of students. Furthermore the president of ESPA Council discredited himself by not honoring the agreement reached at the Head teacher’s office. They missed a very valuable opportunity of acting like a Parents Association of the whole school. They rather prefer to be the voice of a little group with private agendas.

Leavers’ prom is a once in a lifetime event and despite the organization being assigned to the parents association I believe that the school and the board have the ultimate responsibility to maintain the optimum conditions for their students’ participation. Keeping silent to this discriminatory and racist act will render them part of this serious injustice.

I am now deeply worried that there might be further insult and humiliations to the TC students in the prom because of the tense situation created by the Parents Association. The school is responsible of taking all measurements in advance to protect ALL students. As there has been no response whatsoever from the Board, in spite of the repeated pleas I intend to file a complaint to the Anti Discrimination Authority with the hope that they will help resolve the sad situation created."

Ο Σύνδεσμος Γονέων οργανώνει τον χορό των αποφοίτων, σε μέρα κατά την οποίαν ομάδα μαθητών δυσκολεύεται να παραβρεθεί λόγω εξέτασης 
A-Level στην Τουρκική Γλώσσα. Παρόλες τες αντιδράσεις γονιών και  μαθητών ο Σύνδεσμος Γονέων ESPA, σε συνεδρία του στις 14 Μαΐουμ προχώρησε στην επικύρωση της ημερομηνίας, δημιουργώντας αισθήματα πίκρας και αγανάκτησης όχι μόνο στους 17 τουρκοκύπριους τελειόφοιτους αλλά σε πολλά μέλη την κοινότητα της Αγγλικής Σχολής.

Ακολουθεί η άποψη του Cenk Ozdag, γονέα μαθητή της 7ης τάξης:

"Παρόλη την μεγάλη μας ελπίδα για το μέλλον του νησιού μας, θα ήθελα να φέρω στην αντίληψη σας μιαν κάπως λυπηρή ιστορία. Μπορεί να θεωρηθεί ως αμελητέο θέμα αλλά έχει την σημασία του γιατί δείχνει πόσο μεγάλη είναι η αντίδραση κάποιων, εναντίων της  δικοινοτικής ζωής στην Κύπρο.

Είναι σχετικά με τον χορό των αποφοίτων της Αγγλικής σχολής, οποίος καθορίστηκε για τες 24 Ιουνίου, ημέρα κατά την οποία οι τουρκοκύπριοι μαθητές (17 μαθητές από σύνολο 140) θα έχουν εξετάσεις 
A-Level στην Τουρκική γλώσσα, οι οποίες τελειώνουν στις 6.30 το απόγευμα. Θα είναι αδύνατο για τους ΤΚ μαθητές να παρευρεθούν λόγω του περιορισμού του χρόνου – κάποιοι μένουν Αμμόχωστο ενώ άλλοι Κερύνια. Eνημέρωσα το Συμβούλιο του Συνδέσμου Γονέων ESPA (στον οποίο μέλη είναι μόνο ελληνοκύπριοι) στον οποίον έχει ανατεθεί η διοργάνωση του χορού και είχα διάφορες συναντήσεις για να ξεπεραστεί το  πρόβλημα. Παρ' όλες τες αρχικές πληροφορίες περί του αντιθέτου, το Hilton Park όπου θα γίνει ο χορός ήταν διαθέσιμο και για τις 25 του Ιούνη, πιο βολική μέρα για τους μαθητές.

Η αντίδραση κατά μιας πιθανής αλλαγής, προήλθε από κάποια μέλη του Συμβουλίου των μαθητών και τους γονείς τους, με το δικαιολογητικό ότι θέλουν να παρευρεθούν στο πάρτι του 
Falcon school το οποίο θα είναι την συγκεκριμένη μέρα. Στις 12 Μαΐου παρευρέθηκα σε συνάντηση με τον διευθυντή, τον πρόεδρο του Συνδέσμου γονέων κ. Πανίκο Μακαρίου και την υπεύθυνο για την διοργάνωση του χορού, όπου ομόφωνα αποφασίστηκε ότι η πιο κατάλληλη μέρα για να γίνει ο χορός είναι η 25η  Ιουνίου. Δυστυχώς μετά και παρ΄ όλην την συμφωνία που επιτεύχθηκε στην συνάντηση μας, ο Σύνδεσμος Γονέων αποφάσισε με την σύμφωνη ψήφο του Προέδρου του να καθορίσει την 24η ως την ημερομηνία για τον χορό, παρόλο που γνώριζαν ότι οι τουρκοκύπριοι μαθητές δεν θα μπορούν να παρευρεθούν. Διαμαρτυρόμενο για την απόφαση, ένα μέλος του Συμβουλίου του Συνδέσμου γονέων παραιτήθηκε καθώς επίσης και η υπεύθυνη για την διοργάνωση του χορού. Σύμφωνα με ένα μέλος του Συμβουλίου του Συνδέσμου Γονέων «5 ψήφισαν βάση προσωπικής ατζέντας και 4 βάση πολιτικής».

Με αυτή του την απόφαση το ESPA επιβεβαιώνει τον ρατσισμό και την διάκριση που γενικά το χαρακτηρίζουν ως οργανισμό, ο οποίος δυστυχώς συμπεριφέρεται στους τουρκοκύπριους μαθητές σαν αντίπαλους και όχι σαν μαθητές. Ο Πρόεδρος του Συνδέσμου απώλεσε κάθε αξιοπιστία, αθετώντας την συμφωνία που έκαμε κατά την διάρκεια της συνάντησης στο γραφείο του διευθυντή. Εχάσαν μια πολύτιμη ευκαιρία να συμπεριφερθούν ως Σύνδεσμος Γονέων ολόκληρου του σχολείου. Αντί αυτού επέλεξαν να είναι η φωνή μιας μικρής ομάδας η οποία ενεργεί με καθαρά προσωπική ατζέντα.

Ο χορός των αποφοίτων είναι ένα μοναδικό γεγονός στην ζωή του κάθε μαθητή και παρόλο που η διοργάνωσή του ανατέθηκε στον Σύνδεσμο γονέων, θεωρώ ότι το σχολείο και το Διοικητικό του Συμβούλιο έχουν την τελική ευθύνη να παρέχουν τες ιδανικές συνθήκες για την συμμετοχή όλων των μαθητών. Αν παραμείνουν απαθής στην διάκριση και τον ρατσισμό που συντελείτε τότε η ευθύνη μεταφέρεται πάνω τους.

Με ανησυχεί ιδιαίτερα η πιθανότητα να υπάρχει περεταίρω προσβολή και ταπείνωση των τουρκοκυπρίων μαθητών στον χορό ως αποτέλεσμα της έντασης που έχει δημιουργηθεί. Καλώ το σχολείο να πάρει εκ των προτέρων όλα τα αναγκαία μέτρα προστασίας όλων των μαθητών
Καθώς δεν υπήρχε καμιά αντίδραση από μέρους του Διοικητικού Συμβουλίου, παρόλες τες εκκλήσεις αποφάσισα να υποβάλω παράπονο στην Αρχή κατά των διακρίσεων, με την ελπίδα ότι θα καταφέρει να βοηθήσει ούτως ώστε να επιλυθεί το πρόβλημα."


14 σχόλια:

  1. I'd like to express my disappointment with your article. The information you have is either false, mis-interpreted or manipulated in such a way so as to project a situation that is definitely not the reality. The A-level Turkish exam finishes at 5, leaving the students taking it with 4 hours to prepare for the prom. The students of the school, as well as ESPA have expressed their keenness to help those students get ready by booking them a room at the venue where the prom will take place as well as hairdresser appointments for the girls. Following this kind gesture, they have also delayed the prom. It normally takes place at 8, however, taking in consideration the time constraints for the TC students, they have delayed the prom and it will now take place at 9:30 - A time frame which is not convenient for other students who were planning on inviting their grandparents.
    The situation has been taken out of control, and has been regarded by a many as an act of discrimination whereas it is in fact, an unlucky incident since the exams ARE pre-determined by Edexcel, an English Exam Board that the English School has no control over.

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  2. Thank you for your comment. If 17 students feel that it does not leave them enough time to go home prepare and come back why not change the date? Why not have the exam on the 25th? The Parents Association refuses to answer this crucial question.

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    1. As i have stated previously, the exam dates are pre-determined by edexcel, an english exam board whose exams are taken internationally. Thus, you understand that changing the exam date is rather impossible since it means changing the exam for millions of students all around the globe; an arrangement that is not under the control of the English School.
      Secondly, with regards to the suggestion to changing the prom date, all plausible options have been discussed extensively both by ESPA and English School students. The only venue capable of holding the capacity of all english school graduates and their families is the Balroom at Hilton Park and unfortunately this venue has been pre-booked by another Private School for the 25th. Therefore, the option remaining is having the prom take place outside, an option that has been discussed. However, the vast majority of parents have expressed their disagreement with this due to safety issues. As i have previously stated, many grandparents will be attending the prom and because an outside venue means a pool and slippery faces, it is a safety risk for all participants. Furthermore, it is an English School tradition that Leavers have an After-Party after their prom, taking place always at the Ballroom at Hilton Park. However, since the Ballroom is booked for the prom of another school, the after-party would have to be displaced at another venue, something which again, represents a safety risk. With regards to this, many parents have expressed their concerns since students will have to drive someplace else, and given that there will be alcohol at the Prom Dinner, this compromises not only their health but also their lives. It is evident thus, and after clearly examining all possible options, that there's no alternative to the 24th. The majority of parents have deemed the outside venue as a risk to the wellbeing of their children, of all children, making the 25th an impossible option. Every possible effort has been made to accommodate all the needs of the Turkish Cypriots who unfortunately have an exam on the 24th, thus it is a matter of them accepting to compromise.

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  3. "The majority of parents"? Did you actually consult the year 7 parents officially? It doesn't seem so. This highlights one of the points raised - that ESPA was consulting with asmall group of "its" friends trying to find a suitable date for them. I will repeat my question and I will appreciate if you answer: Did ESPA consult the year 7 parents officially about the prom date?

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  4. "However, since the Ballroom is booked for the prom of another school, the after-party would have to be displaced at another venue, something which again, represents a safety risk. With regards to this, many parents have expressed their concerns since students will have to drive someplace else, and given that there will be alcohol at the Prom Dinner, this compromises not only their health but also their lives."
    Again which parents expressed their concerns - your small group of friends?

    The Parents Association Council member and the event organiser Vaso Kritikou states that she did book a room for the afterparty, so what is this about having to drive to another venue?
    Vasso Mangou Kriticou's comment in The English School PTA fb group:
    "Dear Margarita, for 25th I booked the swimming pool for the dinner and one room for the party. They have misinformed you, as usual"
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/402145689896208/

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  5. Σταματήστε να κρίνετε την Αγγλική Σχολή για να κερδίσετε λίγη δημοσιότητα. Αν θέλουν οι τουρκοκύπριοι να μας πουν ρατσιστές ας μας πουν δεν πιστεύω ότι σας πέφτει ιδιαίτερος λόγος. Καταρχήν αν αποφασιζόταν ρατσιστικά η ημερομηνία του χορού δεν θα τους εκλείναμε δωμάτια στο ξενοδοχείο και ούτε θα τους επροσφέραμε να τους πάρουμε οι ίδιοι στο ξενοδοχείο γι'αυτό να θυμάστε ότι πριν δημοσιεύετε κάτι να παίρνετε απόψεις από όλες τις πλέυρές όχι μόνο από όπου θέλετε. ΥΓ. Το δεύτερη με 'υ' γράφετε όχι 'φ'.

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  6. It is sad that the leaver's dance risk being spoiled by this decision which is causing so much distress...... I feel for the year 7 students - all of them.
    The Parents Association events organiser reckons that some of ESPA members voted on a personal agent, i.e. to facilitate certain "influential" parents as she describes them, while others voted on a political agenta, implying direct discrimination against the turkish cypriot students. The ES parents Association is recorded to have acted in a discriminatory manner on other occasions....

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    1. How will anyone, influential or not, Turkish Cypriot, Greek Cypriot or whatever, benefit from having the prom on the 24th? It seems and it is the only solution available. Therefore, it's the Turkish Cypriots that have turned and promoted this into a political debate whereas it is in fact, a LEAVER'S DANCE, meant to be enjoyed by the graduates and their parents. and only. not something that an online blog has a say over.

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    2. Valid question: How will anyone benefit from having the prom on the 24th?
      Here is what the Parents Association events organiser Ms Kritikou (who resigned in protest) wrote on the 15th May:

      Vasso Mangou Kriticou
      There is still time, till last night the booking for the hotel was for both days to help everybody to participate and celebrating properly, not with the artificial help and anxiety. But what would happen if our children had exams till 19:00 in the afternoon??? The same parents would be outside the school demanding for changes. Why the GC students prefer the 24th... Because 4-7 of them want to join Falcons prom. I agree that there is a discrimination against TC students. Espa has to live with its choice

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    3. You are still seeing the matter from the eyes of a single perspective without wanting to acknowledge the most obvious fact: that the prom can only take place on the 24th not because of discriminatory issues or any other issues simply on the 25th the students won't be able to have an afterparty at the same venue as stated previously.

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    4. as all of us are aware we live in a democracy where the voice of the majority does outweigh that of the minority. During previous ESPA's meetings it had been unanimously decided that the prom would take place on the 24th. Therefore, it seems that the problem stems from those who have changed their opinion, ignoring the fact that a decision was taken. Puting the burden on ESPA, and blaming it for something that it hasn't done, proves exactly why this issue is something that the TC have turned and manipulated for their benefit

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    5. To Ανώνυμος18 Μαΐου 2015 - 12:05 π.μ. what you are saying is apparently wrong
      I repeat my earlier comment:
      The Parents Association Council member and the event organiser Vaso Kritikou states that she did book a room for the afterparty, so what is this about having to drive to another venue?
      Vasso Mangou Kriticou's comment in The English School PTA fb group:
      "Dear Margarita, for 25th I booked the swimming pool for the dinner and one room for the party. They have misinformed you, as usual"
      https://www.facebook.com/groups/402145689896208/

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  7. Αυτό το σχόλιο αφαιρέθηκε από έναν διαχειριστή ιστολογίου.

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  8. To Ανώνυμος18 Μαΐου 2015 - 12:06 π.μ.
    This is not a question of majorities and minorities. It is a question of being respectfull enough to arrange a leavers dance that accommodates the students or a muppet to be manipulated by "influencial" parents who wanted 25th free in order that their sibling could attend another party that night.

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