Celebrations commemorating the Pancyprian Gymnasium’s 200th anniversary took place in the presence of President Demetris Christofias, the Archbishop of Cyprus, the Mayor of Nicosia, and the head of teachers’ union OELMEK, among other dignitaries.
All had high words of praise for the school, which was established in 1812 by Archbishop Kyprianos as the first lower secondary school in Cyprus.
The school itself boasts a vast collection of rare historical and archaeological items, as well as an extensive library.
Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yorkadjis said the school always carried the torch of Greek education (it was called the “Greek School” until 1896) and educated numerous future Archbishops, presidents of the Republic, fighters against British rule, and fighters against the Turkish invaders in 1974.
“It is the responsibility of all of us to support this historic school, to study and find ways to ensure its survival, not just in terms of the building, but as a huge museum of old Nicosia’s educational history,” Yorkadjis said.
Christofias said new school curricula would gradually be introduced in September, with the intention of creating a system that is “accepting of difference, respectful of particularities and preferences”.
In 2008, the then newly-elected President had pledged to reform the Republic’s educational system. This created heated discussions and a 2009 committee even had to prepare two separate proposals, as no unanimity on educational reform could be reached.
“With common agreement, effective and particular solutions can be found upon which we can all agree on,” Christofias said.
OELMEK head Demetris Taliadoros said the union expected an invitation from the Education Minister to discuss educational reform and the Pancyprian Gymnasium’s future.