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Snapshot of Cyprus Education System

The Ministry of Education and Culture manages the Cypriot education system at all its levels: pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education. In Cyprus, there are state-owned as well as private educational institutions. 

Compulsory education in Cyprus lasts for 9 years and is free at state schools. Compulsory education starts from primary school and concludes in the third year of secondary school, i.e. lower secondary level.

Snapshot of Cyprus Education System

Pre-primary Education (Prodimotiki ekpaidefsi)

Children at the age of 3 may enter pre-primary education level. Pre-primary education in Cyprus is provided by nursery schools and kindergartens. This level is compulsory for children aged four-years-and-eight-months to five-years-and-eight-months.There are public, private and community pre-primary educational institutions in Cyprus. 

Types of nursery schools in Cyprus:
  • Public nursery schools: The Ministry of Education and Culture along with the community authorities and parent’s association manages public nursery schools.
  • Communal nursery schools: These schools are managed and controlled by the community authorities and parent’s associations.  The communal nursery schools are registered and supervised by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus (MOEC).
  • Private nursery schools: These schools are set up and owned privately, and run as per the Private Schools’ Law, 1971. The Ministry of Education and Culture approves these schools. 

Primary Education

Primary education in Cyprus lasts for 6 years and is compulsory to attend. The government of the Republic of Cyprus manages and finances the primary education in Cyprus. This level of education is split up into 2 cycles:
  • Cycle A: Children aged 6-8 attend cycle A. This cycle comprises of grades 1-3.
  • Cycle B: Children aged 9-12 attend cycle B. This cycle comprises of grades 4 to 6.
In Cyprus, every town or village has primary school with over 15 children. Also, there are regional schools operating in Cyprus catering to many communities that are selected by the local community in rural regions and by the government in urban regions.

Types of Schools

  • One teacher school: Maximum no. of students is 19
  • Two teacher school: No. of students range from 22 to 39
  • Three, four and five teacher schools: No. of students per teacher is below 35.
There are state and private primary schools in Cyprus. The state primary schools are managed by the Government and free. The private primary schools charge fees which vary from school to school. 

Certificate awarded: Pupils’ performance is assessed on a continuous basis. Upon successful completion of the primary education, a primary school leaving certificate is given to the students which enable them to enter secondary education.

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Cyprus comprises of general secondary education and secondary vocational and technical education. In Cyprus, there are public and private secondary educational institutions that provide theoretical as well as specialised education. The private secondary education schools are financed by the foreign organisations, local entrepreneurs and religious groups.

General Secondary Education

General secondary education is divided into two levels: 
  • Lower secondary education (Gymnasio)
  • Upper secondary education (Lykeio/Lyceum)
General secondary education focuses on the humanities and liberal arts, general science, aesthetics and social sciences.

Lower Secondary Education

Lower secondary education in Cyprus is mandatory for all children aged 12 to 15. This level of education marks the end of compulsory education period in Cyprus.
  • Duration: 3 years
Curriculum: Mathematics, history, physics, modern and classical Greek, chemistry, English, design and technology, natural sciences, French, nutrition, biology, health, religious education, geography, arts, civics, and environmental studies.
Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the lower secondary education, a leaving certificate is awarded that enables students to enter upper secondary school.

Upper Secondary Education (Lykeio)

Upper secondary education is optional. Students who want to go for higher education must undertake upper secondary education. Admission to the upper secondary level is available to students who have passed lower secondary education cycle.
  • Ages: 15 to 18
  • Duration: 3 years
Curriculum: Comprises of general educational and optional subjects.
Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the upper secondary education, a school-leaving certificate is awarded which qualifies the students for higher education in Cyprus.

Secondary Technical and Vocational Education

Students who have completed compulsory secondary education, i.e. lower secondary educational level can go for secondary technical and vocational education.  This educational level provides theoretical as well as practical education.
  • Duration: 3 years
The technical education emphasizes on sciences and vocational education emphasize on workshop training, industry and technology.

Certificate awarded: Upon successful completion of the course, a school leaving certificate (apolytirio) is awarded to the students which enables them to apply for higher education institutions in Cyprus.

Higher Education

Higher education in Cyprus is provided by the state-owned and private higher education institutions. The state and private higher education institutions in Cyprus operate at the university and non-university level.

Public universities: These universities are formed by law and are funded by government. In Cyprus, there are three public universities. 

Private universities: These universities are formed and financed by non-governmental institutions. In Cyprus, presently there are 5 private universities. 

Public institutions of higher education: The Cyprus government manages the public higher education institutions. These institution are supervises by: Ministry of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Ministry of Labour and Social insurance,  Ministry of Justice and Police Order, and Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment. 

Private institutions of higher education: These institutions are non-university level institutions of higher education and offer a wide range of study programmes at the following levels-certificate, diploma, higher diploma, bachelor, master.

Adult Education Centres

The Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus provides adult education programmes (epimorfotika). Afternoon and evening classes are held at local public schools in Cyprus.

Curriculum: Vocational skills, foreign languages, computer skills, arts and crafts, cooking, dance, Greek language courses are provided to foreigners and other residents of Cyprus.
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