Primary and Secondary Education
Greek public schools
Public primary and secondary education in Cyprus is of high level. Teachers are qualified, school buildings are beautiful and they occupy the best plots of land. The government spends 7% of GDP on educational needs. As per this figure Cyprus is a leader (along with Denmark and Sweden) among the European Union countries.
Public education takes 12 years to complete. Children enter school at the age of 6 and leave it at the age of 18. Learning at primary school takes 6 years and 6 years more at secondary school.
English private schools
Public schools are free of charge and provide good grounding including in foreign languages and above all in English. However foreign parents take into consideration the fact that teaching is in Greek. Therefore only those of them who have made a decision to associate themselves with Cyprus and Greece, the Greek language and culture for a long time send their children to public schools.
The others send their children first of all to private English schools. Cyprus offers splendid opportunities for getting high quality education according to the national school program of the Great Britain. There are English schools providing complete cycle of primary and secondary education in all the major cities of Cyprus (Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos). The greatest number of English schools is in Limassol. By the way there are two private Russian schools in Limassol as well.
Following are perhaps the most famous English schools:
- The English School (Nicosia)
- The Heritage Private School (Limassol)
- American Academy Larnaca (Larnaca)
- International School of Paphos (Paphos)
The education lasts 13 years. Children enter school at the age of 5. Primary education lasts 6 years and secondary one 7 years more. Teenagers leave school at the age of 18. As a result of 5-year learning at secondary school pupils take examinations and obtain General Certificate of Secondary Education - GCSE. The last two years of secondary school are intended for preparation for entering the University. On leaving school pupils take A-levels examinations. The results per the exams form basis for admission to the British Universities.
It is also worth mentioning that kindergartens operate by private English schools. Kids attend them for three years time starting from the age of 2. The last year at a kindergarten is preparatory for primary school.
Children of various nationalities go to English schools. They enter schools at different ages and with different levels of the English language proficiency. Sometimes a 14-15-year old teenager with poor English enters English school. Experienced school teachers know how to involve such children in educational process without stress. The atmosphere of collaboration between teachers and pupils, good relations among pupils, no disruptive and aggressive behavior among schoolchildren is another obvious advantage of English schools in Cyprus. There are many people who believe that as to primary and secondary English education Cyprus is second country in the EU after England itself.
Private English schools require tuition fee. The education is comparatively inexpensive. Tuition fee in junior classes comprises about euro 3,5 thousand a year and that in senior classes is about euro 7-8 thousand a year.
To begin with it is worth mentioning that Cyprus is in the lead in the EU per the number of people who have higher education among capable population.
Pupils who have left secondary school in Cyprus have a choice – either to get higher education at the European (British first of all) universities or at higher education institutions in Cyprus.
The level of the Cyprus Universities is average European. The Government pursues an active policy on further improvement and development of higher education. As a result recently the number of foreign students studying in Cyprus has rapidly increased. Now already Cyprus offers strong programs to take, which students from other most developed countries come to Cyprus. Those are, for example, seamanship and numerous related subjects.
There are both public and private higher education institutions in Cyprus. There are only three public Universities:
- University of Cyprus (Nicosia)
- Cyprus University of Technology (Limassol)
- Open University of Cyprus (Nicosia)
There are also private Universities in all the major cities of Cyprus – University of Nicosia, Frederick University, Neapolis University and others.
And finally let us mention as an important fact that branches of famous British universities has started operating in Cyprus. The first British University in Cyprus – UcLan Cyprus, which is a branch of the well-known University of Central Lancashire is situated in the suburb of Larnaca. University of the West of England has its branch in Larnaca city.
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