Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers join efforts for peace

The first bicommunal Educational Conference entitled “Developing Peace Culture – The Role of Education” was held yesterday with the participation of Directors of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers` organizations.

The Chairman of the Greek Cypriots teachers organisation, POED, Philios Phylaktou told the Cyprus News Agency that this was the first time Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers held deliberations during a joint conference and exchanged ideas and opinions on the role educators could play in the effort to cultivate, especially among younger generations, a culture of peace and coexistence between the two communities.

Their common goal is a free of occupying forces Cyprus and the reunification of the island, he said.

“Only then, we Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can live together peacefully. With mutual respect for diversity and for each other, with understanding, we can utilise both human resources and national wealth to the benefit of the legal habitats of our island. We own it to our children and the younger generations,” Phylaktou noted.
Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot teachers taking small, yet firm steps have managed to come out with declarations, plans and ideas for coexistence and cooperation, that were transformed into actions and show the way of peaceful coexistence, added Phylaktou.
Their collaboration is based on mutual respect, on the respect of fundamental human principles and values and also the sensitivities of each side, he said.
The conference exceeded the expectations of the organisers, “and gave the opportunity to the five working groups, that convened after the key-presentations and the plenary discussion, to report the results of their work-related activities that could be carried out in schools towards the cultivation of peace culture. There were several ideas which were noted down and could be implemented by teachers and schools,” outlined Phylaktou.
The conference concluded with a joint declaration endorsed by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot Educational organisations in which they expressed their support to the efforts of the leaders of the two communities to find a just solution to the Cyprus problem, “with the assurance that teachers in Cyprus are ready to assist efforts through the education sector.”
Source: CNA

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