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G/C & T/C teachers praise role of education in rapprochement
2003-10-27 16:47:06

Nicosia, Oct 25 (CNA)? The significant role of education in bringing Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots closer was underlined here Saturday by both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers.

Teachers from both communities in the divided island of Cyprus, examined here today the role of education in rapprochement in the first bicommunal conference entitled ''Rapprochement: The role of Education'', organised by T/C and G/C progressive teachers associations.

Speaking to journalists on behalf of the organising committee, Greek Cypriot teacher George Georgiou said that education has a very important role to play in a solution to the Cyprus question and to create the necessary understanding between the two communities.

He added that education is not solely responsible for rapprochement adding that the necessary political will is required.

Speaking to CNA, President of Turkish Cypriot secondary teachers Union (KTOEOS) Ahmet Barcin said that education has a significant role to play in rapprochement.

''Since there are two communities on the island, we must learn how to educate each other. When a united Cyprus arises in the future, education will have an important role to play in bringing the people closer'', Barcin said speaking through an interpreter.

Turkish Cypriot teacher Vedat Tek, said that progressive Turkish Cypriot teachers have already decided to overcome nationalistic references and promote peace in Cyprus through their lectures.

''We throw away nationalism, we respect the human rights and we hope that the new generation of Turkish Cypriots will be more progressive'', Tek added.

Furthermore G/C and T/C teachers through their addresses in the conference stressed the role of education in rapprochement.

Greek Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Union (OELMEK) Sotiris Charalambous said that teachers are obliged to prepare the future generations to live in a common country.

The common desire to remove nationalism, hatred and passions of the past, should not be left out of the changes that will be made to the quality of education in Cyprus, Charalambous noted.

KTOS' Education Secretary Guven Varoglou said that the forces, which caused the partition in Cyprus, used education to promote nationalism than peace.

''We must understand that our role in the course of peace is very important'', Varoglou said, adding that books should write about peace and not about nationalistic issues.

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