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Education and communication key issues at POMAK Congress
2003-08-28 10:41:51

Nicosia, Aug 27 (CNA) - Education and communication issues were raised during the last day of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) Congress. The Committee, which dealt with Education and Cultural issues, stressed the need to maintain and strengthen unity among educational organisations overseas and urged the government to increase its education missions to teach overseas Cypriot children.

They also referred to the small number of children in schools teaching Greek, as well as the delay in dispatching books to the various communities.

POMAK members said European programmes could prove valuable with Cyprus' forthcoming accession to the EU and noted that the Cyprus SAT satellite programme should be upgraded and cultural exchanges increased.

They also called on the government to help Cypriot refugees who are repatriated find homes, get cheaper airline tickets with national carrier Cyprus Airways and asked for direct flights from Cyprus to the US, Australia and Africa.

Overseas Cypriots also asked to be granted the right to vote and be able to contribute to the social security fund without having to work in Cyprus, in an effort to have pension rights on the island.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior Kyriacos Triantafyllides told the Congress that the government considers necessary the upgrading of enlightenment of and communication with overseas Cypriots' communities.

For this reason, he said, there is a gradual improvement of the programmes offered through Cyprus Sat, while efforts are underway to make the satellite signal available in South America and Australia.

Representative of the Ministry of Communications and Works Andreas Christodoulou said that 120 thousand Cyprus pounds are geared this year for the Cyprus Sat programme, an amount scheduled to increase next year.

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC) Director General Marios Mavrikios said CyBC's satellite programme is gradually improving with more programmes being added to it.

A representative of the Cyprus Youth Organisation said 50 thousand pounds have been allocated for overseas youth organisations because the organisation considers the role of overseas Cypriots of national significance.

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