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Parents upset over difficulty of high school final exams in Cyprus

June 12, 2024

Original Article:

The difficulty level of the essay section in last Monday’s senior high school Greek language and literature exam has sparked criticism from organised parents’ associations.

The controversy centres around the complexity of the essay topic and the time allotted for completing the entire exam.

While acknowledging that the topics fell within the curriculum, Loizos Konstantinou, President of the Pancyprian Confederation of Secondary Education Parents, emphasised that final exams should not be designed like university entrance exams.

He argued for differentiated papers catering to various student abilities and expressed concern that the difficulty could unfairly impact students’ final grades.

The essay itself required students to explore the concept of a democratic school using art “not to smooth out but to balance, not to flatten but to elevate, not to segregate but to include, and to help each and every student find their place in the school community.”

Konstantinou further criticised the exam setters on social media, suggesting they should attempt the exams themselves under the given time constraints.

He highlighted the importance of final exams being accessible to all students, not just the top performers, and expressed concern about the long-term impact the difficulty could have on students’ academic careers.

He questioned the accountability of the exam setters in contrast to the potential consequences faced by students who perform poorly.

In response to the backlash, the marking guide expected to be released today has been updated.


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