TRNC marks Dis­abil­ity Day

Cyprus Today - - NEWS -

HUN­DREDS marched to mark In­ter­na­tional Day of Peo­ple with Dis­abil­ity in an event or­gan­ised by the Cyprus Turk­ish Teach­ers’ Union (Ktös), which called for im­ple­men­ta­tion of leg­is­la­tion on spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and equal rights for those with spe­cial needs.

Mon­day’s march in Gaz­i­mağusa started at the Eastern Mediter­ranean Uni­ver­sity (EMU) round­about and ended in front of the Mağusa De­vel­op­ment Acad­emy. Stu­dents, teach­ers and fam­i­lies took part, as well as pupils from lo­cal schools and the town’s Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre.

Sup­port also came from a range of or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the Cyprus Turk­ish Pub­lic Sec­tor Work­ers’ Union (Ktams), Gaz­i­mağusa Municipality, the EMU trade union Daü-Sen, the Fa­m­a­gusta Walled City As­so­ci­a­tion, Repub­li­can Turk­ish Party (CTP), So­cial Demo­cratic Party (TDP) and the Akova Women’s As­so­ci­a­tion.

Par­tic­i­pants shouted slo­gans such as “There is no ob­sta­cle be­tween us” and “Do not ob­struct but sup­port”.

Ktös sec­re­tary Bu­rak Maviş said in a state­ment: “We have no law, no of­fice and no fu­ture. We are go­ing to build all of these one by one.”

Mr Maviş ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment that no rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Min­istry had turned up for the event, and crit­i­cised the min­istry for fail­ing to al­lo­cate funds for the coun­try’s six cen­tres for peo­ple with spe­cial needs.

How­ever, in a state­ment on the same day, Na­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Ce­mal Özy­iğit said they had given a “sep­a­rate im­por­tance” to spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion and had al­lo­cated all of the “house­hold sup­port” part of the bud­get to it.

He said they had bought two ve­hi­cles for dis­abled pupils, which would come into ser­vice soon, and said work on the Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tion Law — which aims to give dis­abled pupils ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion and to im­prove their lives — had reached its fi­nal phase and would be given le­gal sta­tus “very soon”.

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